Whether I was taking a ride with my dad when I was little or heading to the iconic New England shop now that I am a resident of the town, Kanes Donuts is absolutely one of my favorite places in the world.
Along with thousands of locals, donut devotees, and world travelers, I’m in love with this iconic New England doughnut shop that has received major attention in recent years.
The Delios family purchased Kanes in 1988 from original owners Bob and June Kane, and despite recent upgrades, the classic donut shop from 57-years ago is still evident today.
“The classic feel of the shop is something we didn’t want to lose as we grew over the last few years,” notes Paul Delios. “We’re so happy that we’ve been able to keep that nostalgia alive for so many local residents and visitors from practically everywhere.”
Recent renovations included expanding indoor tables as well as adding patio seating. Window-side stools remain, leaving ample space to enjoy the classic donut-shop style of Kanes.
“Folks can come in here and still feel comfortable walking in the door.”
What’s clear is that Kanes is one of the few places left like it.
“The big corporations have taken over and put so many of the mom and pop shops out of business,” admits Delios. “Our core business is donuts. These corporate guys may carry a name or a logo with donuts, but it’s not what they’re selling.”
The business is pretty busy, and locals and visitors from around the world continue to help keep the Delios family busy at the shop.
The Delios siblings, Paul, Stephen, Catherine, Maria, and Peter Jr., start arriving at 2AM to be ready for the day’s first customers, making Kane’s perfect for folks working wee-hour shifts.
“We’re real happy about all the attention we’ve gotten because it really highlights how we’re doing something unique since there really aren’t many places making artisan donuts anymore,” Paul Delios, one of the owners of the family owned business located on Lincoln Avenue in Saugus.
The shop has been featured in publications and foodie television shows around the world, from Bon Appetit and Travel & Leisure magazines to features on the Phantom Gourmet and the Travel Channel.
“People will fly in right to Logan, and take their rental or taxi cab right to the shop,” Delios cheers. “We’ve had people from as far as Dubai, and they really come from all over the globe to get a taste of what we’re offering here in Saugus.”
In my opinion, there are three signature items you have to try if you’re a first-time visitor to Kanes: a honey-dipped donut, a cake-style donut, and a piece of a coffee roll.
The shop offers much more than its nationally recognized donuts, including their hub-cap sized coffee rolls, created by Peter Sr. when he took over the shop. Yet another must-have at Kane’s, the treat is perfect for gatherings with friends and family.
Kane’s has certainly earned it’s “world-famous” tagline due to the popularity of its honey-dipped donut, however, the Delios family is proud of its many hidden gems and new products added into the rotation.
“From the Cookies & Cream to the crème brule, we’re always trying to think up something new that helps keep those repeat customers on their feet when their choosing at the counter.”
One of their latest creations is the perfect treat just ahead of the summer season. The S’Mores donut is a classic, cake-style donut with chocolate frosting, marshmallows, and crushed graham crackers.
“So many of these different donuts have been big hits.”
Recently, Kanes has also embraced using Facebook and Instagram, and I have often ended up drooling over my keyboard as I scan the photos posted of both new and classic donuts. Delios believes the social networking medium has enabled the company to stay connected with both locals and devotees, especially in a day and age where big-name competitors are spending millions on marketing and advertising campaigns.
“We don’t have the marketing and corporate power to compete with the big guys, and using Facebook is certainly more of an equalizer for us smaller guys out there.”
“It allows us to keep in touch with our locals and true enthusiasts as to what we’re doing, what we’re creating, and what’s different that will keep them coming back for more.”