TOWNSEND — The vacant and former Whole Donut in Townsend center is now alive with activity. Gourmet Donuts open its doors this week.
Located at 210 Main Street, this is the third such business, the other two locations are 43 Airport Road in Fitchburg and 636 Main Street in Leominster.
The partners who own the three locations are Willie Alnahas, Mohammed Eldardir and Nasser Elgindy. They consider Gourmet Donuts a family-run business, though the three are not actually related.
Mohammed, who likes to be called “Mo,” has been working with Gourmet Donuts since 2002. Wiilie Alnahas started the business back in 1989 and Nasser Elgindy has been with Gourmet Donuts since 1998.
Mo works more on the customer end of the business, making sure all needs are met. Nasser is the main baker “the guy behind the scenes,” said Mo. Willie is the main purchasing agent and in charge of quality control for the kitchen and keeping all the products up to their standards.
“Together,” Mo said, “we make an incredible team that cares. We are active owners who work right along side our employees. We are one big family.”
The owners said they love the Main Street location. “It’s centrally located and has a great drive-thru that will be convenient for customers,” said Mo. The building offers great potential, he added.
When working on moving into the space, Mo commented on how friendly and helpful the community was. “The restaurant got started up a lot sooner because of the cooperation of the Townsend Building Inspector and Board of Health. It really makes you want to start a business here,” said Mo.
Gourmet Donuts offers 12 flavors of freshly-brewed hot coffee every day. Mo said that two favorites are cinnamon sticky bun and snickers. They also offer 22 iced coffee flavors.
The donuts are made fresh daily in the Fitchburg location. Their signature donut is the apricot. Mo said that no one else makes it.
They also have a chocolate cream donut with homemade cream inside. “It’s a secret recipe of the three partners,” Mo said.
The employees are cross-trained at every location. “They must love their job to work here,” said Mo. “When a customer walks in they won’t know who the owner is, we all work together. We treat our customers like our second big family. We know their names and how they like their coffee.”
When it comes to cost, Mo said Gourmet Donuts is 25 percent cheaper than the chain restaurants. “You’re getting gourmet without gourmet prices,” he said.
Mo said Townsend residents won’t have to drive too far for quality. “You can pick up a nice pair of shoes at Evans-on-the-Common and then grab a good cup of coffee,” Mo said.
When it comes to community and giving, their Fitchburg location donates funds to PALS (Police Athletic League) and the Leominster location donates to the Saint Joseph’s House. Mo said they look forward to supporting Townsend charities as well.
The owners said they want every customer walking out of Gourmet Donuts 100 percent satisfied. “We care and we want everyone to know that,” they said.
They will be having a grand opening event in the near future, no exact date yet.
As for now, Mo said, “We are waiting for more regulars.”