Waking Up with Dawn Donuts, 1920-2000s: Born in Jackson, Michigan
I used to go to the Dawn Donuts location on West Avenue, when it sat right next to McDonald's. That location is now a Dunkin' Donuts and the McDonald's is now Reardon Realty.
My fond memory of Dawn Donuts goes back to my teen years. My buddy Craig and I would drive into town, order EVERYTHING on the West Avenue McDonald's menu – that was at a time when there were very few menu items! Both of us ordered everything: hamburger, cheeseburger, double hamburger, double cheeseburger, Big Mac, fish sandwich, fries and a shake....and we finished it all. Then, we'd waddle next door to Dawn Donuts and eat even more. Ah, those were the days...when we had cast iron stomachs.
Dawn Donuts started in 1920 at 112 E. Michigan Avenue in Jackson, in a bakery run by Eugene Worden and Grover Lutz. Called the 'Century Bakery', their doughnuts were so good, that others bakeries would come over and plead to know the secrets and ingredients. This happened so often, that they started boxing their doughnut mix so anybody could make their own donuts. In 1925, more mixes were selling than actual baked goods. They moved their biz to 330 Otsego Drive and named their new company, “Dawn Donut Company” - the 'dawn' signified the time of day when bakery workers had to get up and go to work.
By 1967, the Dawn company was making more and more mixes: biscuits, cakes, cookies, donuts, muffins, and sweet rolls.
According to Mlive, Dawn Donut Co. became Dawn Food Products, Inc. in 1977. The Dawn Donuts shops where we went to buy our sweets were not affiliated with the company – thanks to a licensing agreement, they used the name because they used Dawn products and mixes.
Jackson's Dawn Donut sweet shops were at Airline Drive, Cooper Street, and West Avenue. Now they are all gone. The only Dawn Donut shops left in Michigan are in Grand Blanc and Flint. The Dawn headquarters still thrive, and have stayed in Jackson the whole time, faithful to the city that made them famous.
Dawn Donuts Memorabilia & Collectables
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