Everything You Need to Know About Montgomery Donuts; Including Today’s Most Similar Donuts


Montgomery Donuts was a staple across Montgomery County (and beyond) for decades– starting with the first location in Silver Spring to a total of nine locations in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties at its peak. We caught up with Patrick Mayo, the grandson of the original founders who has worked every job in the company while his father owned it, and have everything you need to know about the local business that everyone misses– including which current donuts have the closest taste to those from Montgomery Donuts.

Legally, the company was known as Montgomery Doughnuts. For signage and packaging purposes, you’ll often see it spelled Montgomery Donuts. This was primarily due to size restraints and the company wanting to make the lettering as big as possible. The company was founded by William and Gladys Mayo in 1946 with the first location being in Silver Spring on Georgia Ave. MoDo’s was also a common nickname for the shop. The railroad over pass in Silver Spring, just a few blocks north of the district line, sits where the original 10×10 cinder block building stood.
Back then they went under the name of Dixie Cream Donuts. Later they would switch to Krispy Kreme Donuts– the same Krispy Kreme that’s around today. Patrick’s grandmother’s nephew and his wife, Howard and Lois Cooper, were partners with his Grandparents. It was after WWII, and since Howard was a Navy Veteran, he was able to get sugar and flour easier. Back then, to have a Krispy Kreme franchise, all you had to do was buy the mix and supplies from them. Later, they found out they could buy sugar and flour for about half of what it cost from Krispy Kreme, so they left and became Montgomery Doughnuts. Howard and Lois eventually moved back to Missouri, where founders William and Gladys were from.
Eventually, the company grew to nine retail locations in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. Production operations were moved from Old Georgetown Rd in Bethesda to Gude Dr in Rockville in 1972. William M. Mayo, the son of the original owners, took over operations. “We made 6000 dozen and day and served our 500+ retail customers from Fredericksburg Va, DC, up to Baltimore and Frederick with customers such as 7-11, Highs, Marriott, Ottenburgs Bakery, and 100’s of Mom and Pop restaurants, convenience stores and gas stations. We had 20 trucks on the road every night.” Patrick (William M. Mayo’s son) told us. “I started working there when I was 12 washing trays and trucks. My dad paid me a quarter an hour because he said I was eating more than I was working. I eventually worked just about every job in the company.” Patrick shard that while in school at Sherwood High School, his nickname was “Doughboy”, a name some of his friends still call him to this day.
At its peak, in addition to providing donuts to convenience stores and gas stations as far away as Fredericksburg, VA, there were locations in Beltsville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Olney, Rockville and Silver Spring. In a 2000 interview with the Washington Post, after being forced to close some of the stores, William M. Mayo noted that “There’s just too much competition out there. There’s a bagel shop now on every corner. All the gas stations serve pastries these days.” William M. Mayo sold the company in 2001. Not to long after he sold it, there was a snowstorm that brought 27 inches to the area followed by about 3 inches of rain. The roof of the E. Gude store and production facility collapsed from all the weight and put the new owners out of business. Luckily the plant was closed when this occurred due to the storm and no one was hurt. “Everything was made in the main plant, so I’m not sure any of the locations stayed open after that.” Patrick said.
When discussing the donuts today that remind him most of the donuts his family’s company used to say, his answer may surprise you. “I would say the closest tasting donuts to MoDo’s would be the donuts from Sheetz or Wawa convenience stores. That’s where I go when I need a good donut.” After getting out of the donut business, Patrick has been a realtor in Montgomery, Frederick, Howard, and Carroll Counties since 2001. He started with Prudential Carruthers in Bethesda and stayed there for 17 years, before moving to Remax 6 years ago. I’m with Remax Realty Centre in Olney and Clarksburg. He has let us know he’s always interested in talking Montgomery Donuts or helping you out with your home sale or purchase.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

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