Coffee in Worcester: Boston Donuts

posted by Mike on December 17th, 2006

This week: Worcester’s Boston Donuts, on Park Avenue near Chandler Street.

Boston Donuts

Pie and Coffee: This week we have a special guest: Kevin Ksen. Because we’re talking about Boston Donuts, and Kevin is a Boston Donuts fan. Bruce is a Boston Donuts fan, too.

Bruce: The last coffee I had was excellent. Every drop that I had of that coffee, the egg nog coffee, it just like watered my mouth so much. It was just so delicious, and so smooth, and so good that I gotta go back and have another coffee sometime. It probably won’t be the egg nog, but . . . .

Kevin: I’ve tried a few. I can’t say I’ve done the egg nog thing. I’ve certainly done the usual assortment of French vanilla and mocha cream, and the caramel one–that was good. I think the people are friendly. It’s a friendly restaurant, the people always want to talk to you.

I remember the first time that the three of us went down there. The woman at the counter was just completely confused.

Bruce: I remember that.

I thought that was really sweet. I think if I was in a hurry for my coffee I wouldn’t have thought it was sweet, but I thought it was really charming.

Kevin: Yeah, I remember one of the earlier times when I went down, and the person behind the counter was convinced that I was Broni Kush from the Telegram & Gazette. That didn’t make me feel so good.

Did you get free coffee?

Kevin: No, I argued against being Broni Kush profusely. That was more important to me than free coffee.

Well, I had a cup of coffee there and it was OK, but this was the first place that we went to have coffee that as soon as we left Bruce was just going on and on about how great the coffee was, and about how we needed to do an interview about that place that second.

There’s a little bit of interesting background about the place. Weren’t they being sued by Dunkin’ Donuts?

[Note: It was actually the previous occupant, Gourmet Donuts.]

Kevin: It was at least threatened. It was over their use of a matching font and colors on their sign to what Dunkin’ Donuts uses.

It’s still pretty close.

Kevin: It is still pretty close, but it was close to exact before.

And the interior looks like they’re using all the fixtures from an old Dunkin’ Donuts.

Kevin: It was a Dunkin’ Donuts at one point. It’s been three or four different donut shops in the last five or six years.

In honesty, one of the reasons I like it is that it’s not Dunkin’ Donuts. I just really hate what Dunkin’ Donuts has done to Worcester in terms of really putting out of business a lot of good donut shops. And Dunkin’ Donuts’ donuts are amongst the worst out there. You might as well buy frozen store ones.

Why do you think that place has had such turnover, in terms of different stores being there?

Kevin: I think it’s hard to make money selling donuts and coffee. And Dunkin’ Donuts has learned that. They do sandwiches now and everything.

Bruce: I like Boston Donuts better. It’s a little more mellower, a little more relaxed, people are not in as much of a rush as at Dunkin Donuts. Because the thing about Dunkin’ Donuts, the one thing about the coffee, my feeling is they used to use this certain bean, and a chemical to clean the bean. Now after they stopped using the bean and the chemical they use lighter beans, which makes the coffee a lot weaker. And it seems everybody in the Dunkin’ Donuts is just so much more in a rush.

I went to a Boston Donuts once in Marlboro in 1997. Down the street from Mr. C’s.

Kevin: I can’t attest to any longstanding history with Boston Donuts. I like the one in Worcester.

What kind of people should consider going to Boston Donuts?

Bruce: It’s not a place for a lot of young kids to go. Because they’re in more of a hurry. I think for people in that area who want to go to a coffee shop, I think Boston Donuts is centrally-located because Walgreen’s is right next door, if they’re waiting to get their prescription refilled or something, it’s right there.

Kevin: It’s also a real hangout for folks in the Vietnamese community. It has a real ethnic flavor to it that you’re not expecting. It therefore has this “neighborliness” to it, that other coffee shops, where people are rushing and rushing, just don’t have.

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