The heavenly scent of blooming yeast and sugary frosting filled my nostrils the second I stepped foot in Jefferson Iowa's own donut haven. Bunkers Dunkers has served up delicious fried and filled morning pastries for more than 37 years. Walking up to the counter, I noticed a man with a friendly smile standing behind the glass case engaging with every customer that floated through the door.
Owner Randy Bunker is passionate about the donut business, mostly for the social life that comes with it. When I asked him about his favorite part of his profession, his response came without hesitation. “The kids...” he said trailing off. Children with their gleaming eyes, enticed by the sugar-induced coma, are the best parts of his day.
The donuts are baked overnight by a dedicated team committed to turning out quality delicacies. Starting around 3:00 a.m., the delivery crews start their engines and deliver donuts to 20 donut-crazed locations around the Jefferson area.
Fancy donuts like Bavarian cream or German chocolate are frequent favorites. But, the most popular are the glazed raised or cake donuts, Bunker said. I can understand why. After not so subtly stuffing several glazed cake donut holes in my salivating mouth, I was instantly hooked - sugary glaze perfectly coated a melt-in-your-mouth fried, and sweet dough ball.
I sheepishly asked Bunker, king of fried deliciousness, what happened to the leftover donuts each day. Slightly embarrassed by my question, he whispered, “We give them to folks that are down on their luck.” Many years ago, after work on a cold winter morning, Bunker caught a man digging through the dumpster for old donuts. Moved by the experience, he decided that the shop’s excess donuts could feed hungry residents.
Gems like Randy Bunker and Bunkers Dunkers are a special treat in today's donut-crazed world. Already sweet delicacies are made sweeter by the caring and passionate people behind the product. Stop into Bunkers Dunkers for a warm smile, friendly conversation and a box full of fresh donuts, and follow them on Facebook.