Lakewood’s House of Donuts has reopened. The bakery with the iconic neon “Donuts” sign on Gravelly Lake Drive Southwest closed Dec. 31 and reopened Sunday after three weeks of renovation by new owner Tom Peterson, who bought the business, recipes and land from longtime owner Marilyn Cheatham.
The Cheatham family had operated and owned the business for more than 50 years, but leased it in recent years to Dan McCarthy. The family also operated three other doughnut and coffee shops in Tacoma.
Peterson said he’s made some cosmetic fixes to the front entry - it looks the same, just a touch cleaner - but most of the renovations were in the kitchen. Gone is the doughnut machine - nicknamed “the cake maker” - that once churned out cake doughnuts at the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle. The machine is in storage and Peterson said the Cheatham family intends to keep it.
The kitchen renovation is what he considers a first step for some bigger plans. He said he doesn’t plan to change the building's look, but the lot is large and he is considering expanding in the back. He’s also looking to expand the drip coffee he serves to a full espresso menu.
The doughnut recipes are the originals used at the bakery and he said he's keeping much of the menu. Prices will stay about the same - starting at 60 cents for a cake doughnut. The bakery will continue to serve turnovers and scones.
The two-sided drive-throughs still offer a quick trip for doughnuts. Occasional doughnut sell-outs have been a problem in the first few days. A tour bus visited on opening morning and cleaned out everything he had baked.
Peterson grew up in Lakewood, then started and ran two plastics companies in California. He’s out of the plastic business now - he sold both companies - and considers House of Donuts his new second career. One thing hasn’t changed for Peterson: bakery racks. He used to use the tall, vertical racks to store the plastic components his companies manufactured.
House of DonutsWhere: 9638 Gravelly Lake Drive, LakewoodInfo: 253-588-2647 or thehouseofdonuts.comHours: 6 a.m.-3 p.m. daily