WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – At Granny Donuts, in West St. Paul, it’s a race to keep the display case stocked.
“Sometimes if we don’t get here early enough in the morning, they’re all gone and then we don’t get the favorite donuts,” frequent customer Jane Williamson said.
That’s because on most days, there’s a steady stream of people lining up to grab a cruller or a dozen donuts.
Calvin Dye has been making Granny’s a weekly stop for decades.
“I live in Clearwater. I work in Minneapolis. But, I come here every Friday,” Dye said.
It’s loyal customers like Dye that have kept Xuan To and his wife, Que Banh, busy for quite a while now.
“[At the] end of the month, 28 years,” To said.
That’s 28 years of working 14 to 15 hour days, 365 days a year. No vacations.
“11,000 days,” To said.
But who’s counting?
It might sound crazy, but if you ask To, after moving from Vietnam, his work ethic was strictly practical.
“This for [earning a] living. [It’s] what you do. We came here with nothing, you know,” To said. “You have to build up, build up, build up. That was important for us. Come here, the kids can go to school.”
To’s proud to point out that all four kids did go on to higher education, and are working now with families of their own.
So most days, at Granny’s, it’s just husband and wife in the tiny shop. And when the flour flies, there’s little debate about who’s in charge.
“[It’s the] American way, you know. In my country, I’m the boss. But here, you know, it’s a different way,” To joked.
After 46 years of marriage, it’s clear they have a secret recipe for more than just donuts.
“It’s a one of a kind place. It’s a great place to come,” Williamson said.
Granny Donuts is cash only, but most donuts are under a dollar.
You can find more information about Granny Donuts’ hours and location on their Facebook page.