Hot, fresh donuts anytime you want.
That’s one of the main reasons local residents say the Shipley Do-Nuts at 3410 Ella Blvd. are the best in town and what sets that location apart from others in the franchise.
That, and it’s the only location with a spelling error on its sign, making it “Shipley’s Do-Nuts” with the possessive “s”.
“I love the Ella location, glazed donuts made fresh when ordered,” area resident Antique Diamante said. “I used to go so often that if I asked for donut holes they would make a fresh batch if the ones on the tray were not hot anymore.”
Mark Clark, brother of store owner Michael Clark, affirmed the shop is always willing to make a fresh batch of hot donuts. If the store doesn’t have any at the time, all patrons have to do is wait a few minutes.
“There’s no Shipley store that at 8 p.m. will have hot donuts,” Mark Clark said, “but we will literally make them for you on the spot.”
The Ella location is so known for its hot donuts; many people said they will drive out of their way to go there — even when they’ve never even lived in the neighborhood. Mike Wolfe said he’s never lived in the Garden Oaks and Oak Forest area, but went to school nearby and will always choose this Shipley location because of its fresh, hot donuts.
The Ella Boulevard shop is also loved by locals because the workers have a generous hand when filling bags of donut holes as well as for glazing its iced donuts.
“They stuff the bag with donut holes,” Matthew Hagen said. “You are in for a rude awakening if you order them from one of the corporate Shipley's, where the bag is only half full.”
For locals Nora Heene and Hall Puckett, Michael Clark is also a big reason why this location is thought of fondly.
Since taking ownership in 1986, Mark Clark said his brother has gotten involved in the community, such as fundraising for schools and donating dozens of donuts to organizations for events, including The Leader’s own Senior Expo.
This weekend from 8-11 a.m., the Ella Shipley will be a fundraising center for the Frank Black Middle School cheerleaders. A portion of the proceeds made during that time period will go to the cheerleaders.
Some local residents say there must be something more to the donuts and kolaches at the Ella store, like a secret ingredient, or that this location makes its own dough while others get it from the corporate supplier.
Mark Clark said there is no truth to those theories, saying there’s no secret ingredient and the shop doesn’t make its own dough. He said he and Michael believe the popularity rests in the availability of hot donuts.
If there is any taste difference, Mark said it might just be because none of the dough sits out for hours because it's constantly getting used up.
Local resident Kim Hamilton offered another theory: “Maybe it's the water at this location.”
While many locals — and non-locals — hail this location as the best, there is a contender for that distinction in the location at 3932 N. Main St. But even Carlos Aguilar, who grew up near the North Main location, said there’s something different about the Ella shop.
“I grew up near the North Main location, but we have always joked about the Ella location putting crack in the donuts because they are so addictive,” Aguilar said.
Regardless of which location is really the best, or even the most well-known, there’s still often a line of cars on Ella Boulevard waiting for donuts.
“If you're going north on Ella and not getting donuts, use the left lane,” local Sarah Garrison said. “If you are getting donuts, use the right.”