"SPUDNUT DONUTS ARE THE BEST. I OWN A SPUDNUT SHOP IN BEREA, OHIO AND WE STILL MAKE THEM THE ORIGINAL WAY. I HAVE INFO ON THE SPUDNUT MUSEUM. IT IS IN LAFFEYTE,IND. IF YOU WANT EMAIL ME AND I CAN GIVE YOU MORE INFO. WE SUPPLIED 10 DOZEN OF OUR SPUDNUT DONUTS FOR THE MUSEUM GRAND OPENING 2 YEARS AGO,EVERYBODY REALLY LOVED THEM. WELL GOT TO GO MAKE THE DOUGHNUTS."
(See the Spudnut Shop in Berea, Ohio, in the list below.)
"This message is coming to you from the Spudnuts Museum - America's Finest Food Confection Collection! Part of the mission of the Museum is to provide educational programs regarding this historically significant and delectable confection - an American original, loved by many but understood by few!
In that regard, the Spudnuts chain was started by Al and Bob Pelton of Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1940, they began experimenting to find a recipe for a doughnut that was not heavy or greasy and was easy to digest. After throwing away many batches of less-than-thrilling products, they struck on winning formula that used mashed potatoes. When they later invented a dry Spudnut mix, the sky was the limit! By mid-1948, there were more than 200 stores in more than 30 states. A franchise, which included equipment and floor plans, cost $1,750 (in cities with a population under 10,000, a bit more for those in larger cities).
While (to the best of our knowledge) the Pelton Spudnut Corporation no longer exists, 37 Spudnut stores continue to operate across the U.S. These operations have had to tweak the original recipe a bit because the Pelton's dry Spudnut mix is no longer available. And, many of the remaining, dedicated Spudnut gastronomes have done a fine job! So, include a Spudnut shop stop in your vacation travel plans."
From the Spudnuts Museum:
"Recently, someone wrote to ask whether writer and chemist Edward Elmer Smith (1890-1965), aka Doc Smith, had developed the potato-based recipe used in making Spudnuts. No way! That history-altering invention was the brainchild of the Pelton brothers, founders of the Spudnuts chain.
The Pelton boys were working in San Francisco; Bob for a drugstore, Al selling electrical appliances. They wanted to open their own business and thought there was a market opportunity in doughnut making, if they could come up with a good recipe. Potato flour was newly invented and it became the centerpiece of the Peltons' quest to develop the perfect doughnut.
The brothers moved to Salt Lake City, opened a little shop and struck out repeatedly with potato flour based doughnut recipes. Then, Al came up with the crazy, (but clearly inspired), notion to use a mashed potato mix and...waalah!....the result: a large, fluffy, tasty, golden brown delicacy.
As was true of Doc Smith, Bob went into the Navy to assist in the war effort. Al kept the Spudnut flame alive. And, when Bob returned from the war, the brothers developed a dry Spudnut mix that allowed them to ship the product without spoilage and the franchise was born.So, while Doc Smith may have developed a potato-based doughnut batter, it was not the one that propelled the Pelton brothers into Spudnuts fame!"
The prorietor of the Spudnuts Museum, Dr. Kate Sherony, died Thursday, August 29, 2013. Presumably, that is the end of the Spudnuts Museum.
A good article about the history of the Spudnuts franchise.
A more recent good article about the history of the Spudnuts franchise.
Blog article with photos, about a Spudnut shop in Ft. Collins, Colorado, from the early 1950's to the 1970's.
A long forum thread about Spudnuts on RoadFood.com.
"I have the original mix sold to the franchises. I bought the whole recipe book from Will Bellar who was the Executive V.P. and General Manager of Spudnut International in Salt Lake City from 1971 to 1974. There were 6 Spudnut recipes in the book. Only 1 was used with the retail stores. I have got that recipe now, and it tastes exactly the same. There are no trans fats in our version, and if you fry the product in vegetable oil, there are no transfats anywhere. We are selling the mix in 6 lb. bags if you want to taste the product, or 50 lb. bags if you want to sell them in a store. We ship out of St. Louis, MO and Salt Lake City. Hey, someone had to bring the product back, and I did. We currently have the name Spudnut under a trademark. We’ll let you use the name if you buy the product. I’d rather not have franchise fees, as this donut belongs to America ... email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (801-328-4796). We have a trainer, can sell you equipment for any size operation, and the original mix with all the great flavor that people will come back for. Thanks for reading this." spudnut.com
Note: The spudnut.com link goes to Johnny O's Spudnuts. The owner of Johnny O's Spudnuts claims to have purchased the original recipe and trademarks. If you're interested in your own Spudnut shop, contact him at email@example.com or 435-232-2505.
Who owns the right to the name "Spudnuts"? Douglas Bagley (see paragraph above) says he does. Someone else, MP-OTHA Corporation, operating Spudo's Donuts and More in Galesburg, Illinois, (see listing below) says it does. On March 3, 2011, MP-OTHA sued Douglas Bagley in the United States District Court in Utah for trademark infringement and other associated items. It will be up to the court to decide the ownership of the name unless the parties to the lawsuit settle it themselves. If you'd care to read the complaint filed by MP-OTHA, here it is. Be aware that a complaint is only one side of a dispute.
On November 22, 2011, the court denied a preliminary injunction by MP-OTHA against Douglas Bagley which would have prevented his use of the name SPUDNUTS and similar names. The court said that the facts in the case "at this stage of the litigation, do not clearly favor one side or the other". Is there more to come?. At least for now, both parties have the right to use the Spudnuts name. If you want to read the one-page court decision, here it is. See the next paragraph.
August 16, 2012 - Received a notice from Douglas Bagley saying: "As of Aug. 15, 2012, both parties in litigation struck an accord to drop all lawsuits. Mike Patton and Douglas Bagley are both focused on promoting the name, the characters, and the mixes. Trademarks have been obtained worldwide, and we are both focusing our energies into bringing back the Spudnut® name into it's former prominence."
Comment: That lawsuit (with the settlement) was between the two parties named above. It has no necessary effect on other people or organizations that might claim rights to the name "Spudnuts".
Food Stores says they have Spudnuts in all their stores (in states
AR, LA, MS, TX) in dozen-count boxes from "one of their suppliers".
Please try them and report back here.
Another list of Spudnut shops. It also has a link to photos of a Spudnut shop in Golden, Colorado, in 1953.
1. The quality of Spudnuts in current shops is reported to vary a lot. The original franchise ended a long time ago. How close the "mix", or recipe, and process of a particular current Spudnut shop is to the original is pretty much an unknown.
2. Ask the person in charge how Spudnuts differ from regular donuts. The purpose of this is to see if they actually do make Spudnuts or similar, or are just using the Spudnut name without actually making Spudnuts. Also, some places make regular donuts for some types and Spudnuts for others, and there may be no way to know which is which without asking.
"Spudnuts are hilarious until you eat one, and it shuts you up real quick."
"I'll have to say that the first time I heard of Spudnuts, I thought they were some sort of potato baseball. I had no idea what kind of confectionery treat they were until someone brought them into the office one day."