This morning on the way in to WBFO studios, I stopped by Famous Doughnuts to bring radio station’s staff a baker’s dozen of fresh Buffalo doughnuts. I gladly accepted #13, though the girl behind the counter said some refuse it based on superstition.
Owner Richard Roehm, who runs the shop at 3043 Main Street with his wife Pamela, has been in the business all his life. The original Famous location was started by his father in the early 40s, and Richard grew up in the business, which has changed a lot from the early days.
“My father started on Ferry, near Jefferson, across the street from Kaufman’s Bakery,” Richard says. “Back then, the Kaufman trucks would pick up our doughnuts, and the 75 to 100 trucks would distribute our stuff along with the bread. Same thing when we were on Genesee Street near the Wonder Bread bakery. That was back in the day when there were Mrs. Smith’s Pies here, Paul’s Pies. Everything got delivered together.”
Richard and Pamela make their doughnuts on site, and they’ve brought in the next generation too. They employ 7 or 8 people, and hope their grandchildren will be interested in the business when the time comes. Richard was waiting for his nearly year-old granddaughter to make her usual Friday morning appearance, saying, “She’s not making them yet, but she’s eating them. That counts.”
Though he says Famous Doughnuts does a lot of wholesale, he noted that only certain places, like Dash’s Market displays a Famous Doughnut sign along with his wares. Speaking of visibility, Famous Doughnuts was in the Central Park Plaza prior to their move to Main Street 7 years ago. “This location has worked out better for us, retail-wise,” Richard says. “Everybody stops in.” Those who do will find fresh doughnuts, coffee and juices.
The reaction at WBFO was mixed; they were glad to see the doughnuts, but sorry to have the temptation so soon after holiday excesses. We ate them anyway.
3043 Main (north of Hertel)
Buffalo, NY 14214