When I was in school we’d raise money selling donuts and coffee.
You had to reserve the space in the Union. Sign ups for student groups–mostly progressive and then finally the Young Republicans when they finally cracked the code since the progressives weren’t sharing–were at the beginning of the semester. You tried to get as many days as you could. Donut selling was easy money (see more below).
Most student groups used the same coffee makers. I forget who owned them. It might have been the PIRG. There were two big multi gallon machines. No decaf, just regular coffee. I think we bought the coffee from the PIRG, too. Or at least reimbursed them.
There was sugar we’d put in a styrofoam coffee cup with a plastic spoon. There was powdered coffee creamer which got the same treatment. My tenant’s rights group supplied our own cups and coffee modifiers, and our own napkins, too.
One day our director thought it’d be better if we owned our own coffee makers. Then WE could rent to other groups–like the Young Republicans–and it would pay for itself in a few months. Such entrepreneur. Much pain in ass.
Boss man didn’t manage the coffee makers. They’d come back dirty. They’d not come back. We had to chase down our friends in the other student groups for payment. And they’d want to pay in donuts.
All the student groups got their donuts from the same donut shop. I don’t remember the name, but it wasn’t called donut. I think the goods came from a place called Dairy Something or Somebody’s Dairy. I don’t really remember. I might be making the name stuff up.
We’d order the donuts in two dozen increments. Someone with a car–not me since I only had two wheels–would pick them up before the crack of dawn. I would be there for setup. I’d get the coffee started, lugging the big pot to the sink in the janitor’s closet to fill it. I know. Don’t judge me. We all did it and drank the coffee, too.
The donuts were all cake donuts. In fact they were all the same donuts. The differentiator was the covers. There were chocolate, grainy sugar, toasted coconut, cinnamon (with the grainy sugar) and peanut. Sometimes there were maple, but they weren’t big sellers. If the director picked up the donuts he would get those even though they didn’t sell. He must have liked them, or he wanted more variety for our display. The sprinkles on the white frosting either sold out fast or not at all. On Valentine’s Day there were donuts with red and white sprinkles. THOSE were popular. My personal favorite was the plain.
When I was on donut duty, I would eat two. Usually one cinnamon (with the grainy sugar) and a plain one. Yes, eating our profits, because although the money was easy, there wasn’t a lot of it. We might clear between $35-$65 after costs. And be super pleased.
I prefer cake donuts over yeast donuts. I’ve had good yeast donuts in the past, but it seems that nowadays everyone is imitating those Krispy Kreme donuts. Those donuts with the slippery, greazey sticky coating. I don’t know that it’s sugar. I do know that it’s nasty. Like I said, I like good yeast donuts, but these aren’t those.
The best donuts I’ve had since being all the way grown are Downyflake donuts. They have two types, plain and chocolate covered. I only like the plain. They are sinkers. If you leave them in a paper bag they grease it all up. So good. When you buy a dozen in a box and there’s some left for the next day, you pop them in the toaster oven on toast. If you put a paper towel underneath it and can avoid the paper catching fire, it will crisp up really nice. If the paper catches fire it crisps up, but not really nice.
I’ve often wondered what happened with that other New England donut, Dunkin’ Donuts. I thought they were decent, but someone brought them into work and they were absolutely inedible. It’s like they are diet donuts–in fake flavor and in rubbery consistency. It seems like they switched to good-for-you oil. I like the bad slash-tasty oil. It’s not good for you. It’s just good.
These gross corporate donuts, DunkinD and KrispyK are lousy excuses for donuts. I miss donuts cooked in good fat and that taste good. And that you could sell at school and make $45 for your cause.
But I don’t want artisanal doughnuts that cost $2.50 each that claim to be good and just aren’t that good.
Donuts have become a memory for me.