2013-02-15 / Community

After wait, Tony’s Donuts readies for opening

By Jack Flagler
Staff Writer


Rick Fournier, owner of Tony’s Donuts, planned to open a second shop in South Portland this fall. Although the project has seen some delays, Fournier said the store is on track to open next month. (Jack Flagler photo) Rick Fournier, owner of Tony’s Donuts, planned to open a second shop in South Portland this fall. Although the project has seen some delays, Fournier said the store is on track to open next month. (Jack Flagler photo) SOUTH PORTLAND – Rick Fournier spent two and a half years cementing a deal for the property that will become Tony’s Donuts’ second location. After one more month, he hopes the wait will be over for doughnut and pastry lovers in South Portland.

Fournier originally planned to open a second location in November across the Casco Bay Bridge from the Bolton Street shop, a longstanding landmark in the Portland community. He said the timeline was slowed by delays in construction and equipment orders in a process he called “one step forward and two steps back.”

However, construction crews are putting the finishing touches on the interior of the building at 1095 Broadway now. The final pieces of equipment are ready to come in, and Fournier hopes to hold a grand opening for the new Tony’s in late March.


Tony’s Donuts has become a landmark in the Portland community. Fournier said low prices are part of the reason regular customers keep coming back. The same six-ounce coffee and donut deal for $1.50 will be offered in South Portland. (Jack Flagler photo) Tony’s Donuts has become a landmark in the Portland community. Fournier said low prices are part of the reason regular customers keep coming back. The same six-ounce coffee and donut deal for $1.50 will be offered in South Portland. (Jack Flagler photo) Fournier has heard “lots of support” from customers in the Portland shop and those in the South Portland community for a second location. He has spent “almost every day” in South Portland in the spring, working with the South Portland High School softball team’s pitchers and catchers, and consistently heard demand for a South Portland Tony’s.

When a property became available on the busy Broadway and Evans Street intersection, across the street from Amato’s and Dock’s Seafood, and less than a mile from the high school and Dyer Elementary School, Fournier seized the opportunity.

“People don’t realize, you really have to have the property in the right place. You can’t just go jumping in someplace and open a place without researching everything first,” he said.

“You’ve got to know the traffic patterns and a lot of little stuff, plus you’ve got to know the neighborhood.”

Fournier entered into an agreement to purchase the property with previous owner Irving Oil in 2010, but waited two and a half years to finalize the agreement and begin construction. When the long wait to open the shop ends, Fournier said he’s looking forward to offering South Portland residents a nearby option to satisfy their sweet tooth, but his shop won’t be the only option for city residents.

Less than a mile from Fournier’s new location, Frosty’s Donuts, a longtime favorite with locals in Brunswick, opened a third store at 740 Broadway in October. On the other side of town, the Cookie Jar Pastry Shop has operated for decades on Shore Road just on the other side of the South Portland and Cape Elizabeth border – and that’s just the locally owned stores.

South Portlanders also have two Dunkin’ Donuts locations to choose from, each about a mile and a half from Fournier’s shop. Next to Dunkin’ Donuts in Mill Creek, there is also a Tim Horton’s.

Fournier isn’t worried about the wide variety of coffee and doughnut options in the area over-saturating the market.

“We have the reputation,” he said. “You could open up six or eight more Tony’s in the city of Portland and not affect each other.”

Fournier built that reputation by continuing to bring in new flavors and new ideas to surprise longtime customers, as well as an emphasis on keeping costs low. Fournier will offer the same six-ounce coffee and doughnut deal for $1.50 at the South Portland location that is available on Bolton Street in a new shop that will look almost exactly the same.

The appetite for doughnuts goes beyond the Portland area, Fournier said. It extends to the whole of New England because of the style bakers use in this part of the country.

“A lot of it in the east coast area is about the spices a lot of us use. We use spices in there that they don’t use in the rest of the country. On the other side of the Mississippi, everything’s more sugary,” he said.

Asked to name examples of those spices, Fournier declined. Some of what makes Tony’s Donuts a Portland landmark has to remain a secret.

“Nice try,” he said.

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