The Local Exchange: World’s Best Donuts launches book to honor founder
GRAND MARAIS, MN. (Northern News Now) - Making good donuts is one thing, but why stop there?
A Grand Marais, Minnesota donut shop boasts not the town’s best donuts, not even Minnesota’s best, but the world’s best.
It was founded by Merieta Altrichter in 1969.
What makes this store extra special is the people who run it.
There you will find five generations of the same family all pitching in to help.
Dee Brazell, third generation, is the owner of World’s Best Donuts.
“Now I’ve got my nephew working here, and my niece, and my nephew’s children, he’s got four of them, so now they’re working here,” Brazell said.
The fourth generation handles production, generation five helps where they can, and the second generation is mostly retired.
“Mom never said anything was good enough, it had to be the best,” Sherrie Lindskog, second generation, said.
“Now I do the laundry, and that way I get to steal donuts, free coffee, and then I got to go to church on Sunday to be forgiven,” Sherrie’s husband, Chester, said.
You will only see the first generation in photos.
“My grandma had cancer a couple of different times, and finally she was 78 years old and she told my sister and me, ‘I’m done. This is my last year. You either take it over or the donut shop is closing,’” Brazell said.
The family picked up the reigns, and the seasonal shop is still bustling.
That is especially true on National Donut Day as they launched their grandma’s book.
“It’s been a family affair of getting it together,” Brazell said.
The book is called “The Donut Lady and the World’s Best Pet Chicken.”
“She got this chicken, and it turned out to be this pet of hers that she absolutely loved. So she wrote a book about it,” Brazell said. “She just loved its little antics.”
The book details the true story of young Brazell bringing her grandmother, Altrichter, an injured chicken which blossomed into a nine-year friendship.
Just like the business, the book is a family affair.
“My grandma wrote it, my mom helped her put it together, and then my aunt made the pictures,” Brazell said.
All five generations contributed to making this book a reality. From writing to illustrating, the youngest generation even drew donuts around every page number.
“The kids helped do the book with the pictures and everything,” Lindskog said. “It’s just enough to make me cry.”
Remembering the poultry playmate Brazell gifted her grandma and the prosperous profession Grandma Rita passed down to Brazell.
“I feel lucky,” she said. “I am really lucky that I ended up with this business that means so much to me, that meant so much to my grandma.”
This book pays tribute to the woman who started it all and shows the legacy of hard work from the oldest to the youngest for the past 54 years.
World’s Best Donuts is typically open from May through October.
On their last day of the season, the whole family will be back out there staffing the shop once again.
The Donut Lady and the World’s Best Pet Chicken is available for purchase in-store and online.
If there is a small business that has left a big impact on your community, you can nominate them for this segment by sending an email to Kendall Jarboe at KJarboe@NorthernNewsNow.com.
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