Fifty years of pure sweetness.

Every morning before the clock strikes 5 a.m., the Smoky Mountains get a little sweeter. That’s when the first round of donuts is ready at The Donut Friar, the longtime purveyor of perfect glazed treats at The Village Shops in Gatlinburg.

These days it’s hard to imagine Gatlinburg without the European-inspired mini-mall known as The Village Shops. The quaint collection of gift stores, ice cream shops, cafés, and galleries first opened back in 1969 and The Donut Friar was there. In fact, according to local news outlet, WATE, the Donut Friar now bears the title of being the only original shop still operating in The Village and, reportedly, the second oldest continuously run family owned food establishment in Sevier County. Needless to say, they know what they are doing with those donuts.

After 50 years, every day they are still there every day putting out perfect powdered cake donuts, French crullers, Bavarian cream-filled wonders, cinnamon twists, chocolate glazed, coconut coated, and rainbow-sprinkle covered treats.  Of course, man cannot live on donuts alone, so the Donut Friar also sells cinnamon bread, eclairs, danish, croissants, and date bars for those who want a more well-rounded diet.

While a donut and coffee doesn’t cost 25 cents like it did when the Donut Friar first opened its doors, it still offers breakfast for under $5 which is hard to find in this world. (Three doughnuts count as breakfast, right?)

And if the donuts aren’t enough to lure you in, this may sweeten the idea: The shop’s 90-year old owner, Jim Ryan, may have taught an entire generation of Gatlinburg children to say please and thank you, according to the Style Blueprint blog. His secret? Waiting until they remembered their manners before doling out his treats.

If you’re looking for the best donuts in the Smoky Mountains—if not the South—head over to Gatlinburg and fill up. Just remember to say please and thank you.

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