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Unwrapped: Donuts
Featured on Food Network

Host Marc Summers goes nuts about donuts! Gather round for a square, jelly donut from the Doughnut Plant and watch Krispy Kremes being cranked out. Don't miss donut-flavored beer and a store where you design your own funky-flavored donuts. Also, travel to Mrs. Baird's for some of her addictive mini-donuts and visit a donut shop still making Spudnuts.

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Richland Spudnut Shop Spotlighted by Sarah Palin on Fox News
Chelsea Kopta, KEPR TV — January 27, 2011

Sarah Palin spotlighted the Spudnut Shop in Richland on national TV Wednesday night. While on the FOX News show, On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, Palin dismissed President Barack Obama's call for a "Sputnik moment" because of communist Soviet Union's collapse and debt incurred during that time.

"I listen to that Sputnik talk over and over again and I think we don't need another one of those. You know what we need is a Spudnut moment," Palin said. "The Spudnut shop in Richland, Washington, it's a bakery, it's a coffee shop that's so successful, 60-some years, generation to generation, a family-owned business, not looking for government to bail them out, to make their decisions for them. It's just hard-working, patriotic Americans in this shop. We need more Spudnut moments in America."

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Turning Potatoes into Pastries: The Rise and Fall of the Spudnut
Amanda Petrusich, Paste Magazine — July 16, 2008

Rendering doughnuts from root vegetables might seem like an unappetizing prospect. But in 1939, brothers Al and Bob Pelton, bored with baking and French frying white potatoes, developed a sweet doughnut made from a mashed-potato base. The Peltons initially peeled each tuber by hand, but in the interest of increasing doughnut yields (and decreasing thumb lacerations) they developed a potato-flour mix which could be used as a starter for doughnut dough. Before long, the brothers had franchised more than 200 Spudnut shops around the country.

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60 sweet years: Richland's Spudnut Shop cranks out potato-based delicacies since the Cold War
Ingrid Stegemoeller, Tri-City Herald — Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hours before most people are reaching for their alarms, two figures bustle back and forth inside a Richland bakery, working around each other in movements choreographed by 18 years of sharing a kitchen.

While much of the Mid-Columbia sleeps, 3 a.m. finds Val Driver and Kevin Russell already hours into their work day, mixing, frying and frosting potato-based pastries that have become a Richland institution -- spudnuts.

As the shop celebrates its 60th anniversary this month, Driver, the owner, and her baker's dozen of employees carry out business as usual -- baking, frosting, bantering with customers and creating that unique sense of community for which The Spudnut Shop in the Uptown Shopping Center has become famous.


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Gallery: Spudnut Shop turns 60
Kai-Huei Yau, Tri-City Herald — Sunday, June 22, 2008



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Donut Paradise: The Ultimate Deep Fried Treat
Featured on the Travel Channel

If you think potatoes and donuts don't mix -- think again. At Spudnuts, donuts are made from potato flour and then deep-fried to perfection. In addition to the spudnut, they make a traditional cake flour donut called a spuddy. Health-conscious individuals need not despair; Spudnut also makes spuffins -- a healthy, muffin-like treat. Confused yet? No matter what you order, you are bound to enjoy it (just don't call it a "donut").

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Spudnut survivor: Store in Richland keeps sweet legacy alive
Rodger Nichols, The Dalles Chronicle — September 17, 2006

Before Colonel Sanders discovered his 11 herbs and spices or McDonalds raised its first golden arch, Spudnuts were food franchise superstars.

In the post World War II era, ex-GIs were eager to open their own stores selling doughnuts made with potato flour. For a modest investment in equipment, a few sacks of mix, a lease on a cozy storefront and a small franchise fee, they could start their own business. Many of them did, in small towns across America, including Baker City, Hood River, and The Dalles (see sidebar).

But the restaurant franchise that once boasted it reached “Coast to coast, Alaska to Mexico,” with more than 500 outlets now musters fewer than 50 storefronts. Most of them are in California, part of a small attempt to revive the franchise.

There is, however, a haven in the Northwest for those who remember the Spudnuts of yore. The Spudnut Shop of Richland, Wash., thrives as it has since its opening in 1948.

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Modern Mechanix — Their Potatoes Make Dough
From Mechanix Illustrated, posted May 23, 2006, from an article from April 1952

Don’t say doughnuts to the Pelton brothers, say Spudnuts. They glamorized the lowly spud and made themselves a fortune in the process.

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