If the air smells a little bit sweeter in the North Shore Wednesday morning, you have Kane’s Donuts to thank.
Kane’s quietly opened its doors for a soft open over the weekend, serving its locally-praised honey-dipped and raspberry jelly doughnut flavors right by the iconic orange dinosaur off of Route 1 in Saugus, a remnant from the old mini golf course that used to operate on the road. This is the third location for Kane’s, which debuted its first store in Saugus in 1955. A second location opened in downtown Boston in 2015.
Kane’s owner Paul Delios wasn’t looking to expand the business, he said, but the plans just fell into his lap. In 2016, he was approached by Michael Barsamian, CEO of The Belgrade Group, at a charity fundraiser. Barsamian, who was developing the Essex Landing site, asked Delios if he would be interested in opening another location at the Route 1 property.
“I took a tour of the location the following Sunday at 5 a.m.,” Delios told Boston.com. “I loved seeing the Boston skyline. It was up on a hill that I was familiar with. When I was a young boy, I came up [here] with my father. I used to use the batting cages and the mini golf course.”
The nostalgia was enough to seal the deal. The 3,500-square-foot shop makes doughnuts for both its own location and the Boston branch, which Delios said will allow the company to transport the goods more easily. It also will address complaints about early morning delivery noise from neighbors of the original Saugus shop, which used to make doughnuts for both locations.
“You’ll be able to see the doughnuts being cooked, filled, and glazed right in front of you,” said Delios, referring to the open kitchen that is visible to anyone coming into the shop.
An innovative drive-through system also will soon be available at the new location. Customers using it for the first time will be able to punch in their phone number; on their next trip through, the system will recall their previous purchase and payment method and will ask if they’d like the same order. Delios said that customers also will have the ability to order through the Kane’s website and pick up the order at the drive-through.
Delios hopes that the dinosaur-adjacent storefront will attract Kane’s fans that might have had trouble accessing the other two doughnut shops.
“For folks heading into Boston from the North Shore, the other [Saugus] store is a little bit of a chore for them to get to,” he said. “This is for people who are living on this side of Saugus, people from the North Shore going into Boston. It’s great for people who have thought in the past about stopping into Kane’s, but couldn’t [because it was out of the way].”
Kane’s new location is a boon, too, for Barsamian’s Essex Landing, a mixed-use community that currently features apartments and also will offer retail and restaurants.
“With Essex Landing being home to the iconic orange dinosaur along Route 1 in Saugus, it’s only fitting we bring an iconic brand like Kane’s Donuts onto our property,” Barsamian said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have Kane’s on this side of Route 1 for not only our Essex Landing residents, but for anyone who wants to experience what the best handcrafted donuts in the state taste like.”
Kane’s is currently operating with soft opening hours, and will expand its hours and open its drive-through in the near future.
Kane’s Donuts; 1575 Broadway (Route 1 Essex Landing), Saugus; soft open hours are daily from 6 a.m.–3 p.m.; kanesdonuts.com