Move over Dunkin, there’s a new kid on Rhode Island’s donut block.
It’s called Rhode Island Homemade Donuts and has two locations — one at 1745 Main Street in West Warwick and another in units 12-13 at 1500 Place on Atwood Atwood Avenue in Johnston — where owner Sophal Cheng’s shop has become highly-popular since opening her doors only two short weeks ago.
Last Thursday morning, in fact, RI Homemade Donuts celebrated its official grand opening with a ribbon cutting and warm welcome from Mayor Joseph Polisena who was accompanied by JPD Chief Joseph P. Razza and Deputy Chief Mark Vieira.
After looking around the colorful and caloric donut shop, Polisena made it official for what’s believed to be Johnston’s first-ever and only exclusive independently owned donut store.
“I have a Town of Johnston official commendation for you,” Polisena told Cheng while reading from the citation. “Be it hereby known to all that the mayor’s office and citizens of Johnston hereby offer sincere congratulations to RI Homemade Donuts, Inc. for the opening of your of your business in town.”
After which, Polisena concluded the official welcome saying: “I would like to express the hope for success and best wishes, now and in the l years to come.”
The mayor told Cheng’s family and friends — as well as some customers — “As I’ve said time and again, this is one of the most favorite parts of my job; it’s small businesses that continue to drive the economic engine of Johnston.”
Cheng then thanked Polisena then presented the Mayor — as well as Razza and Vieira — with a box of her donuts that have received rave reviews all over the state and now in Johnston.
“The donuts there are outstanding!” exclaimed Arnie Vecchione, former DPW Director in Johnston, who since visiting the store has become a fan of RI Donuts. “The place has lots of flavors and everything is always fresh.”
Statements like that have become commonplace from people who have been visiting Cheng’s store in Warwick, which ironically is housed in a former Dunkin’ Donuts location and is always filled with satisfied and repeat customers.
“There only one problem here,” a customer who took in the Grand Opening ceremony mused. “There are so many flavors you really don’t know what to buy.”
To which Bob Moulton, who has been a loyal customer and friend who took part in the ribbon cutting added: “That’s what everybody says; the choices and flavors seem endless.”
Meanwhile, perhaps one recent comment from a lady in West Warwick offered: “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the donuts are better than Allie’s and I’ve always been a big fan of that product.”
What adds to RI Donuts, as Moulton and other people have said: “The people here are very friendly; you don’t find that everywhere in today’s customer service world.”
Nor is there another donut store that occupies not one but two storefronts in Johnston and serves everything from blueberry glazed and delicious jelly donuts to smoothies as well as a nice selection of breakfast sandwiches.
Cheng also told Polisena, “we have New England Coffee, tea and soft drink.”
Rhode Island Homemade Donuts (401-563-3725), is located at 1500 Place on Atwood Avenue in Johnston and is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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