ROSELAND — Customers from across Chicago and beyond came to Roseland in droves this weekend for a taste of longtime neighborhood staple Old Fashioned Donuts, which marked its 50th anniversary Friday.
A scaled-down menu of glazed and chocolate doughnuts was offered Saturday at the bakery, 11248 S. Michigan Ave., to accommodate the increase in new and returning customers. That didn’t deter many from waiting in long lines to order, hear their name called and take home a dozen of 84-year-old owner Burritt Bulloch’s fresh, homemade doughnuts.
Burritt Bulloch, affectionately called Mr. B by some, opened Old Fashioned Donuts in 1972 in Roseland.
The celebration kicked off Friday as customers came by for a chance to win free doughnuts. There were also commemorative T-shirts and hats for sale, according to the Old Fashioned Donuts Facebook page.
Neighbor Lorne Green came Saturday to support the shop.
“They have good service,” Green said. “The food is delicious.”
Dejauna Bulloch, Burt Bulloch’s daughter, said she was “overwhelmed” seeing all of the support for her father’s business. Mr. B was cutting the doughnuts while Dejauna Bulloch was frying and glazing them Saturday.
“I’m so happy for my father. [He] is 84, and he’s still working. He’s up there [in age] now, but he still works every day,” she said. “For the public to come to him with so much enthusiasm, and for people to come here and reminisce — he’s just overwhelmed.”
Devra Foulkes, of suburban Waukegan, bought a dozen glazed doughnuts at the request of a friend who lives on the North Side, she said.
“I am very pleased to see that it’s thriving and doing well,” Foulkes said. “I did go to church in this area. So hey, I am all about it. I’m familiar and I am grateful that everybody is coming out to support it.”
Beatrice Posey, of suburban Des Plaines, said she remembered coming to Old Fashioned Donuts with her family as a child, when they lived in the area Posey regularly makes trips back to the city to get doughnuts at the Roseland shop, she said.
“The flavors are amazing. You can’t beat it,” Posey said.
The Rev. Mama Joy Sigur-Ramza, of East Chatham, said though she came to Old Fashioned Donuts Saturday to say congratulations and try out the doughnuts, she was also inspired by the story of an enduring Black-owned business with widespread community support.
Sigur-Ramza heard about Old Fashioned Donuts from her caregiver and decided to make a visit after researching the business online. She said she couldn’t believe all that owner Burritt Bulloch has been able to accomplish in the 50 years Roseland’s Old Fashioned Donuts has been open.
“They’re saying that he does 300 dozen doughnuts by himself. I couldn’t believe it at, what, 84 years old [and] 50 years in the business and … I’m actually looking at the man alive, cutting the doughnuts,” she said. “These are dynasties while they’re here and … we have to understand the value of our legacies.
“And we’re part of their legacies, and we have to protect them, protect these businesses at all cost, because the quality and the love that they serve with us we won’t get that from anyone else.”
Dejauna Bulloch, who’s worked at her father’s doughnut shop since she was 14 and goes by the nickname “Ms. Donuts,” said Old Fashioned Donuts has had to weather challenges in its 50 years.
In 2020, the shop’s window was broken amid rioting after Minneapolis police murdered George Floyd. The shop had to crowdfund money for repairs.
It was the support of customers that made it easier to recover from the pandemic and the damage done to the business during the rioting in Roseland, Dejauna Bulloch said.
With 50 years behind them, the family behind Roseland’s signature doughnuts are also looking to the future. Dejauna Bellouch said her father has plans to remodel the doughnut shop in a project that is expected to begin in January. She also anticipates there being a need for an expanded crew once the project is complete, she said.
“His customers come first to him,” she said. “His priority is his customers. He appreciates everything that the neighborhood, and people outside of the neighborhood — we appreciate everybody considering us.”
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