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          Front Page


Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Hole Lot of Change at Dunkin' Donuts

By Polly Summar
Journal Staff Writer
    Say it ain't so, Dunky Donuts! That old faithful, the classic doughnut with the handle, the only doughnut officially called the Dunkin' Donut, is going off the market, off the wire shelves, off to the doughnut graveyard.
    They say it's progress that the doughnut-with-the-handle has to be cut by hand while the company's new improved doughnut mix can't be handled a lot. It has to be cut by machine.
    "The one with the handle is really the same as the (handle-free) 'Old-Fashioned,' '' says Tahir Gauba, 23, owner with his family of three Dunkin' Donut franchises here.
    Tell that to Frank Padilla, 73, who has a doughnut-with-the-handle five days a week at the Gibson and San Pedro location. "I like to dunk the handle first and soak it and eat it," says Padilla, who works nearby at the Kirtland Air Force Base commissary.
    (And yes, he knows you're supposed to hold it by the handle and dunk the main part of the doughnut in the coffee. But with these newfangled paper coffee cups, the doughnut won't fit into the cup for dunking anyway.)
    The Gibson Boulevard store has enough doughnuts-with-the-handle for a few more days, says Gauba. The same is true at his family's shop at Fourth and Montaño, but those at their Juan Tabo store are already gone.
    While the corporate office in Massachusetts says the company's new signature doughnut will now be the "Old Fashioned Dunkin'," Gauba says, "The doughnut everyone wants is the Boston Kreme."
    The Boston Kreme? It doesn't even look like a doughnut. More like a jelly-filled creation, but with a custardy inside and chocolate frosting outside.
    "That's what I have six days a week," says Cynthia Brown, 33, who works near the Gibson shop at the Veterans Administration Medical Center. "Two Boston Kremes and a medium coffee with lots of cream."
    Brown says she's been eating Boston Kremes for breakfast since she was a little girl growing up near the shop. "It's the only doughnut I eat."
    Call it progress, but wouldn't it be like Baskin-Robbins not offering vanilla ice cream?
    "My son grew up on those doughnuts, and he's a doctor now," says Rosie Garcia, who works at Kirtland Air Force Base and calls herself a "mature woman" when asked her age. "It doesn't have all that sugar, and he could hold onto it by himself when he was 2 or 3."
    Garcia herself has a cinnamon roll and coffee seven days a week. "I don't even order it," she says. "I used to, but now when I walk in, they hand it to me."
    Good thing that young doctor didn't grow up on those cinnamon buns. They weigh in at a whopping 510 calories, according to the company's Web site, compared with a modest 240 calories for the destined-to-die Dunkin' Donut.
    That handle? Didn't add a single calorie to the doughnut. The handle-free Old-Fashioned actually contains 10 more calories.
    And they call that progress.