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.