Sunday, December 03, 2006

Goody Good Doughnuts, RIP

The smell of doughnuts is in the air it seems. Yesterday’s Boston Globe not only had the complete report of the foiled doughnut shop robbery (the officer got plenty of teasing back at the station), but also a sad story about the closing of a locally owned doughnut shop in North Cambridge, Massachusetts. Gentrification and competition from the likes of Dunkin Donuts had siphoned off much of the business, forcing the shop to close its doors at the end of this month. The true locals in the area, many of them elderly, are devastated.

This story reminded me of the doughnut shop of my youth. Mention Goody Good Doughnuts to anyone from my hometown, and you will see their eyes roll in the back of their head and hear them sigh, “Mmmm…. Those doughnuts were the best.” You should then look out for the pool of drool on the floor.

Impossibly light and airy, sweet and gooey, and, if you went late at night, hot, Goody Good Doughnuts were made by the Jedi Master of doughnut making. His tiny shop (no tables) had hand-lettered signs in the window and a slight patina from decades of frying. Inside, the walls were covered with yellowing (and slightly greasy) notes from school children and businesses, thanking them for providing doughnuts for various functions. The coffee, sitting on a lonely burner for ages on end, was wretched. Behind the counter, you could see the bakers making the doughnuts.

Dunkin Donuts did a fair amount of business with tourists and those who lived near the chain, but if true locals were charged with bringing the doughnuts, they knew where to get them. The brown baker’s box tied with red and white string was a welcome sight anywhere.

My friends and I used to make the occasional late-night doughnut run to Goody Good’s. Inhaling the sweet smell as we walked in the shop, we'd drift to the counter as if under a spell. The bakers would be listening to classic rock (102.9 WBLM) and would serve us up freshly made confections from heaven. This one time we got greedy and ordered two each. Lucky for me I ate my first one slowly and noticed my poor friend’s face halfway through her second one and was spared the agony.

Unlike the doughnut shop in the newspaper story, however, Goody Good’s did not close due to gentrification or a change in eating habits. Nope. The story of Goody Good's demise has more in common with the dumb criminal story in the post below. Turns out the guy who made the doughnuts also had a cottage industry dealing cocaine. Guess he figured that a doughnut shop was the last place where cops would look for coke-addled matchstick people and that the cops would never bust him anyway because he made the best doughnuts. Bad figuring.

Now the Jedi Doughnut Master is in jail, and our hometown is bereft of the tastiest doughnuts in the history of the world. I bet those cops are sorry now, stuck with Dunkin Donuts and memories.

RIP, Goody Good’s. You are missed.


dive said...

And you wondered why those doughnuts were so addictive?
Great story, Sassy. It's such a shame to see small businesses driven under by the chains.

Sassy Sundry said...

I know. I thought about saying something about how wonderful the powdered sugar was, but I mostly stuck to honeydips.

I do miss those doughnuts like crazy sometimes. It's been ten years, and everyone still talks about them.

Robyn said...

I was thinking the same thing, that maybe they had a little extra something in them to make them so good. I love the idea of donuts, but they give me such a sugar rush that I feel like my brain will explode just 10 minutes after eating them. In my aging years, I have become sugar-intolerant on some level. It's a pity.

Old Knudsen said...

As I've said for years those donut guys are all drug dealers.

Sassy Sundry said...

I was talking on the phone with one of my high school friends today, and I told her that I had thought about Goody Goods. She thought I said that I had had a Goody Good and got all excited about the prospect of having a doughnut.

It is a pity that sugar no longer brings you joy, Robyn. I think that these would have changed your mind.

Knudsen, I don't think I can dispute your claim. Afterall, my doughnuts were made by a coke dealer.

Old Knudsen said...

The former president of Mexico was a coke dealer, well he worked for Coca cola. Did ya see that fight those boys had? very civilsed.

Taihae said...

ha, beat me to the powdered sugar joke. damn your eyes!

RICH said...

ok I'm gonna be honest her not that I'm not honest all the time but: I HATE DUNKIN DONUTS!!! there I said it.. I hate their doughnuts muffins coffee and the fact that they are allowed to setup shop almost anywhere they want even if it is causing a traffic nightmare. I hate that F---ing place!! I never go there no matter how desperate I am for a cup of coffee.

Now, The old douhgnut shops were the best. We had one in West Roxbury Were I grew up called Anna's Hand cut doughnuts and they were the best. The jelly doughnuts actually had jelly in them Unlike The other place I just mentioned.

Sassy Sundry said...

Amen, Rich. I'd watch where you said that around these here parts. People are rabid about their Drunken Grownups.

Sorry to steal your thunder, Taihae.

Babsbitchin said...

I'm that way about Krispy Kreme Donuts. They went franchise, much to their demise and are in trouble now. But when I was a kid, you had one of those puppies and some hot chocolate, life was as good as it gets!