Happy Donuts - Albany, CA (North of Oakland)

Welcome to my donut blog! I'm glad you stopped by to read about a very overlooked institution that is a core part of our American society and culture: Your Local Donut Shop.

This is my critique of Happy Donuts in Albany.

I feel very, very blessed to live the life I live. I currently call Santa Cruz home, where I surf about 4-5 times a week, record/produce music for independent songwriters, drink a lot of snob quality coffee, and travel out to play shows all over the west coast. The traveling allows me to visit many new places and, in turn, many new Donut shops!

On Friday, January 9 my band, Kokua, played in Hercules, CA. The show was a ton of fun but it left me drained and hungry. I had a craving. The desire for a donut and a cup of coffee overwhelmed me so I looked up the nearest donut shop on my iPhone. Happy Donuts happened to be the lucky winner. Let me tell you.... The place totally lived up to its name.
I had the most amazing experience at this shop. Overall I would give this shop 5 Nadas (I judge in Nadas. 5 being the best, 1 the worst). Everything was great about this spot.

Hours: 5 Nadas
The sign says Open 24 Hours... and they are open 24 hours!!! ...Unlike some other shops that advertise hours falsely.

Vibe of the shop: 5 Nadas
The ordering counter had a lot of style. Right behind the signs in the back you could watch the guy making the donuts by hand. I loved being able to watch the process. Also, there were very interesting people patronizing the shop. This makes for a fun time while consuming the nugget of joy.

Donut Selection: 5 Nadas
This was the first donut shop outside of Santa Cruz that I have found blueberry donuts!!! Great job, Happy Donuts. I did not see any unique donut designs. Not a problem, though. They had all the classics.... and did I mention they had blueberry?
Coffee: 5 Nadas
It tasted great black. Not often can you pull that off. For regular drip coffee, this was some of the best.

Taste of Donut: 5 Nadas
Super fresh and tasty.

As for the miscellaneous things this shop had to offer... I give 5 Nadas.
You could buy lotto tickets, cigarettes, cakes, and a vast array of cold drinks.

Service: 5 Nadas
Service with a smile. The best part was the clerk at the register. His name was Alex and he had to be only about 15 years old. He told us he would be working until 5am. That is dedication. It was his dad in the back making the donuts. I love family run businesses.Thank you, Alex and Happy Donuts!

41st Donut House - Santa Cruz, CA

Welcome to my Donut blog!

This is my crituque of 41st Donut House on 41st ave in Santa Cruz, CA.

Years ago I worked at a summer camp teaching surfing. We would wake up every morning at 5am and take 12 or so high schoolers out in the ocean to try and surf. This was the beginning of my affinity of donuts. I had a co-teacher named Peter Culp who figured out a ingenious plan: We would take those 12 kids to the donut shop every morning after surfing and, in return, the donut shop would give me and Peter free donuts. Amazing! This turned out to be a great relationship as Pete and I loved donuts, and the donut shop loved business.

Anyway, I have since been robbed of my arrangement because I cannot produce 12 students every morning. So... I am now reduced to the way of the common man: purchasing donuts.

This is my experience: I was with my girlfriend one afternoon post surfing on the east side of Santa Cruz (by the way, a donut tastes sooooo good after surfing) and we decided to stop in and grab a donut. To my dissappointment the selection was very slim. I guess you need to get up early to eat at this place.

Here's my critque in Nadas... 5 being the best.

Selection (at 2pm in the afternoon): 1 1/2 Nadas
They had the basics and that's about it... but they did have blueberry!

Vibe of shop: 2 Nadas
It was kind of bland in here. Not much going on inside and outside was a busy street. There were a few people sitting inside and they weren't very friendly. They kept eyeing me for taking pictures. Ha.

Friendliness of workers: 2 Nadas
They weren't very talkative, but they were asian! I love asian people... they feel like relatives.

Taste of Donut: 3 Nadas
The cinnamon twist tasted good. It wasn't amazing, but it was good.

If you are hungry for a donut, this is the place to stop.
If you are hungry for an amazing donut experience, go to Ferrell's and visit Nada.

Felton Donuts Muffins & Pastries - Felton, CA

Hello! Once again... Welcome to my donut blog. This blog is about my experience at Felton Donuts Muffins & Pastries.

My poor little 1991 Honda Accord was in poor shape and in desperate need of fixing, so I headed down the hill from my house to Ernie's Auto Repair in Felton (I highly suggest these guys for auto repair. They are good and very honest). After turning in my keys to Ernie's I stepped outside to wait for my ride home. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a coffee shop so I headed that direction. To my excitement next door was Felton Donuts!!! I was so stoked to have another opportunity to add to my donut blog. Here is my critique (5 Nadas being the best!)

Convienience: 4 Nadas
While waiting for your car to be fixed you can grab a donut! So perfect.

Vibe of the shop: 4 1/2 Nadas
It was very warm and homey. I liked the blue decor with the blue and white checkered tile floor. It had a very happy and positive feel.

Taste of the Donut: 3 Nadas
The donuts were just ok. Not great, but not bad. They were a treat since I did not expect to be consuming a donut on this morning.

Donut Selection: 4 1/2 Nadas
Well done, Felton Donuts. You had blueberry and all. Thank you.

Coffee: 5 Nadas
They had quite the selection. There was a coffee shop next door, but I had no need to go there because I had so many options and they tasted good. No espresso drinks though.

Friendliness: 4 1/2 Nadas
The lady was very helpful and super stoked when I told her about my donut blog. It still didn't get me a free donut though. :(

Two satified customers.
Thank you, Felton Donuts. Thank you.

Mom's Donut Shop - Bakersfield, CA

Hey guys,

This donut shop is the one that actually inspired this whole donut blog idea. I was across the street at a church setting up for a concert and I wanted.... no.... needed some coffee. ;) So I walked across the street to the supermarket to get a cup. When I approached the grocery store my eyes befell on this beautiful golden nugget, Mom's Donut Shop. The thing that really got me was the writing on the right side of the windows: "Special Lunch & Dinner, Chinese Food To Go." Ha. I loved the idea. What more could you want? Donuts for breakfast, chinese for lunch and dinner. This place has it covered!Here's my critique in Nadas again (5 Nadas being the best):

Vibe: 4 Nadas. It feels like most donut shops. You know how you can go to Starbucks anywhere and they all feel the same? It was like that. I liked it. It felt like home.

Service: 2 Nadas. Not super friendly, but asian, which was comforting. Remember the Starbucks concept?

Selection: 4 Nadas. The main disappointment: NO BLUEBERRY DONUTS! But they did have one specialty I have yet to find elsewhere. It was a cinnamon roll on it's side and wrapped a little differently. I got one. It tasted great.

Coffee: N/A. I didn't get any because I got some at the supermarket next door.

I recommend a stop at
Mom's Donut Shop!

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