The search for donuts often leads to well-known national chains, some of which have kiosks even in the local gas stations. However, one Durham donut shop can be found not in, but next to a corner gas station, and the owners and bakers are often right inside rather than at corporate headquarters. That shop is Baker’s Dozen, one of a family-owned chain of three shops in the Triangle that are offering some friendly yet serious competition to the national chains.
All of the donuts are made in-house at each of the three locations of Baker’s Dozen, which accounts for the enticing aroma we noticed when my husband Dave and I walked into the Durham branch last Monday morning. With so many delicious options to choose from, we needed a little help. I asked the cashier to name her favorite. She said she likes the apple and cinnamon bear claw best. I thought it over, noticing that the size of it looked ruinous for my day’s calorie count.
I ordered the more modestly-proportioned cinnamon crumb cake donut instead, crumb cake being a fond memory from my youth. When the cashier told us that the apple fritter was a favorite among their many repeat customers, Dave chose that.
While we waited for our donuts, I perused the rest of the menu and did a little calculating. I can never really stop my brain from making price/value comparisons, and I guessed that Baker’s Dozen prices are competitive with the chains. I knew it must be true when my coffee cost only $1.25. Continuing with the price/value comparisons, we found that the apple fritter had a nice crunch on the outside, as well as a bit more apple than we’d expected.
The cinnamon crumb cake might be a Baker’s Dozen original as I haven’t seen that particular donut crop up elsewhere. It was sweeter than the Jersey crumb cakes I remember from childhood, but North Carolinians tend to like their sweets sweet. I confess that as I write this, my mouth is watering a bit for another.
As we brushed the sugar from our fingers and returned to the car, I looked back at Baker’s Dozen again. Like Winnie the Pooh, who lives under the sign of Sanders, the Durham branch of Baker’s Dozen lives under the sign of M & K’s Coffee and Café. Until they can find time to put up new signage, just keep your eyes peeled for the Shell Station at the corner of Sherron and Wake Forest roads.
If you’re looking for a friendly, local business that bakes their donuts fresh every morning, you’ll want to add Baker’s Dozen to your rotation of donut shops in the Durham-area.
Baker’s Dozen is located at 5108 Wake Forest Hwy in Durham, NC. Their hours of operation are 6 am to 6 pm Monday thru Friday.