Jim Nakano, the man known for nearly 40 years as the, credits his longevity and success to one simple fact -- he uses fresh ingredients and fruit.
Nakano remembers a time when strawberry fields were literally right outside his doorstep, but as Glendora and the surrounding area developed, houses and shopping centers replaced the strawberry fields. But that doesn't mean Nakano skimps on the secret to his success.
Nakano says he and his wife, Miyoko, make the trek to Los Angeles to wholesale markets and carefully pick their fresh strawberries and peaches. The strawberry- and peach-filled doughnuts are what keep the locals coming 24 hours a day.
Nakano, a third generation Japanese American, recounts rising from an impoverished past that included incarceration in an internment camp during World War II.
He and his wife opened a doughnut shop in 1972. Nakano manned the fryer, Miyoko took orders at the window. Nakano decided to take advantage of the fields of fresh strawberries that filled the Glendora landscape at the time, and with the help of a friend, perfected the now-famous strawberry doughnut. Rather than serve doughnuts made from freezed strawberries, Nakano only serves them while in season, and switches to peaches during the off season.
Even while approaching 40 years in business, Nakano is still coming up with new ideas, showing off his new extra-rich chocolate filling that could make its debut in a new doughnut soon. Next up, in honor of the fall season, Nakano is readying his pumpkin-filled doughnut.
"Come back again," Nakano likes to tell his customers. "We'll have something new."