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Heav’nly Donuts Nears Opening

Local chain looks to open this month.

North Reading will get another coffee and doughnut alternative later this month when Heav'nly Donuts opens at the corner of Main and Winter streets. 

“The donuts are simply out-of-this world,” said Mark Lee, who will operate and co-owns the North Reading store with his father Robert M. Lee. Lee said the store plans to open the third week of May.

“We haven’t settled for an exact date yet,” he said, but hopes to have a date for a grand opening within the coming week. Lee said that the store is still finishing “odds and ends” before opening, such as installing countertops and point of sale systems.

Heav’nly Donuts was started by George Saragas using knowledge he gained working for other companies. The local chain is headquartered in Methuen and also has locations in Lawrence, Haverhill, Salem, NH, and Plaistow, NH. The family-owned business has been rolling, frying, and filling the sweet pastries for 31 years.

The Lees decided to open a branch in North Reading because of its accessibility, proximity to routes 28 and 62, and because they felt that North Reading was an “up-and-coming” community, according to Mark Lee.

“We recognized right off the bat that it was just a phenomenal location,” he said.

Lee also said that the town was “fantastic” to work with and was very accommodating toward accepting a new business.

“You can’t do much better than the board of North Reading, they were so helpful,” said Lee.

After buying the vacant Dunkin Donuts' location, Lee bought half of the adjoining lot for additional room and parking. The building will feature televisions, free WiFi, seating for 30, and a drive-thru, which can accommodate up to 16 cars, according to Lee.

“Obviously, we’ll never get to that,” said Lee of the number of cars in the drive-thru, “we’ll get people moved through very quickly.”

Lee hopes that the cars parked in the lot and the patrons they bring to the store will also bring business to the town. He mentioned that he had been asked by people from towns as far away as Winchendon when the North Reading location would be open, a sign of the popularity of the Heav’nly brand.

“We want to bolster the local economy,” he said. To further this, Lee said they used a lot of local contractors for work on the building, and have hired many North Reading residents to work in the store.

Lee also said that the store is finished with the highest-grade materials possible, from tile work, to cherry woodwork—not cherry veneer—to a mural on the entryway ceiling.

“It is an absolutely gorgeous facility,” said Lee. “Even the bathrooms are absolutely gorgeous. Everything is state-of-the-art.”

Lee said that the building is set up so that it can serve those who need to grab a quick coffee on the way to work, or those who want to sit and stay awhile.

“We want to give them the best possible experience,” he said. “It’s warm, it’s inviting. We’re never going to rush anybody. They come in and stay as long as they want, and I think they’re really going to enjoy it.”

The Heav’nly chain was the winner of the NECN “Baby You’re the Best” award for the region’s best donuts. Heav’nly Donuts beat out Congdon Donuts from Wells, ME, for the top spot. 

The location offers 15 varieties of New England Coffee, brewed around the clock, and served fresh. 

They also offer numerous homemade baked goods ranging from mainstays like muffins, and numerous varieties of bagels, to pastries and breakfast sandwiches. The doughnuts are made the “old-fashioned” way, according to the shop’s website, and come in 35 different flavors, which they “can't keep...on the shelves.”

For Lee, the doughnuts simply speak for themselves.

“I’ll tell you...once you have it, I promise you, the next time you see a competitor you’ll think twice, and you’ll really wish there is a Heav’nly close by.”

As for now, Lee said he is on site often as the final touches are put on the building. When the shop opens, Lee hopes to bring a great doughnut and store to the people.

“The biggest thing we are striving for is...product that is second to none,” he said.

Maureen Stevens May 09, 2011 at 11:39 PM
What are the hours of operation each day?
ilda May 10, 2011 at 02:20 AM
Can't Wait! Dunkins has no donaut variety and they are seldom fresh anymore now that they are made offsite.
Linnea Casino May 11, 2011 at 01:37 AM
We are hoping for "real" donuts not the hockey pucks they now serve at Dunkin's. We grew up on Kane's Donuts in Saugus and they have set the bar VERY high. Hope you can meet it. If you do you will definitely have our business!
Joe Veno May 11, 2011 at 02:06 AM
They are made in Bradford Mass.
Bill May 12, 2011 at 03:50 AM
Glad to see a great new building and one less eye sore is gone! Thanks for investing in North Reading!
Joe Veno May 12, 2011 at 11:16 AM
That is one great looking building.
Anthony Martinez May 12, 2011 at 08:54 PM
The entrance to the parking lot seems a bit sketchy, especially during busy morning traffic..... As far as the building and business it is nice.
Kay May 28, 2011 at 01:51 PM
The article states how local they are....where do they make the donuts...that is right, somewhere else. Shipped in daily.
Heather LaVerdiere May 28, 2011 at 04:02 PM
They had no donuts today when we went and they said a half and hour wait not good on opening weekend. It was so busy. I am sure they had angry customers. My kids were upset.
Kay May 28, 2011 at 04:53 PM
I had the same problem...back to Dunkins for me. At least they have donuts.
Penny Morang Richards May 28, 2011 at 10:27 PM
I've been in there twice and extremely disappointed both times (once with the quality and once leaving with nothing after waiting to be waited on). Parking is extremely limited.
Barry May 29, 2011 at 01:05 PM
Donuts? Is that what you call what they serve at DD? They are so old, stale and hard they could be used as weapons.
Laura May 30, 2011 at 12:04 AM
I loved the donuts. They didn't leave the usual lump in my stomach like the competitors donuts. Great selection! What a treat!
Joe Veno May 31, 2011 at 11:05 AM
I really think we need to give them a chance to get things straightened out. I do agree the parking lot it horrible! But the up side is the donuts are GREAT....
Donna S. May 31, 2011 at 06:35 PM
I agree with Joe. Let's cut them a little slack. Starting a new business in this economy is challenging enough. Give them a chance. I've been there three times since they opened and have no complaints. The service has been excellent, the food has been great and the order taker at the window speaks English and gets the order right the FIRST time. Who could ask for more than that?
Heather LaVerdiere May 31, 2011 at 07:14 PM
I agree too with Joe. I like them. They just have just used to this customer base . Employees are super nice too. I don't mind the parking the other lot is not bad.
Donna S. May 31, 2011 at 11:49 PM
If you think about it, North Reading and the surrounding towns are very lucky that they may have occassionally run out of donuts their very first week in business. That is actually great news! That means that someone who had the guts to open a new business during a terrible economy is doing far better than they ever expected. Fresh donuts are being brought to that store continuously throughout the day just to keep up with the demand. Parking has always been a problem even back when it was a Mister Donut. Heavnly Donuts atleast levelled the previous building and put their new building back farther on the lot to make more parking. If you want a previously frozen muffin, there is a place right up street. That will make more room at the Heavnly Drive thru for those of us who can't get there fast enough and who drive past two Dunkin Donuts and a Starbucks to get there! :)
Forrest Barnes June 23, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Penny, That store is under new management now. The service is getting better, the quality has improved ten fold and the new manager is on top of everything. The service will be improving as new procedures and better training of the staff unfold. Try speaking to the new manager as he will make it right.

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