I was heading west along Route 1 near Whiting, Maine, for a mid-week lunch with a carful of hungry writers. Soaking in the lush green hills dotted with lakes we almost blew right past a little house with a white trailer parked out front bearing a hand-painted sign that read “Doughnuts” and then another, “Honk 4 Service.”
There was a brief pause as our minds registered “doughnuts,” and then an almost frantic call and response: “Can we stop?”; “Pull over!”
We made a U-turn and pulled into the gravel driveway, honking a couple of times, and soon a bearded man scurried out of the house—Jeremy Towne, a former pastry chef who now runs the doughnut operation, cleverly named The Towne Fryer. He climbed into the trailer while we examined our choices: cake doughnuts in flavors like molasses, coconut, apple cider, and 3D chocolate (a chocolate cake doughnut drenched with chocolate icing and sprinkled with chocolate chips). To one side was an empty tray that had once been full of yeast-raised, honey glazed doughnuts, but those had gone hours ago—Jeremy starts at 6AM most mornings, and serves a string of morning commuters, townspeople, and tourists passing through. The local school bus even makes a daily stop when school’s in session, and the children file out to spend part of their lunch money on his treats.
And sure enough, given the chance, we were happy to ruin our own lunches with a small pile of dense, cakey doughnuts, sugar and coconut flakes scattering the floor of the car as we continued on our way.
The Towne Fryer
681 US Route 1
6AM–4PM Tuesdays through Thursdays (Fridays and Saturdays the truck is mobile, usually near the Machias Dike)