To start, Proud Mary’s is a made-to-order donut shop, and that should entice just about anybody. You can glaze your donut with such flavors as caramel, maple, or key lime, and you can top it with rainbow sprinkles, banana chips, or bacon. These options can yield thousands of combinations – or, if the myriad options leave you paralyzed, there are nearly a dozen specialty donuts, from the Piña Colada to the Chocolate-Covered Strawberry. You can even order your masterpiece online.
But the MTO approach is just a fun gimmick. When Ruarri Miller and his wife Ashley Lakin moved to Riverside, they wanted to help enrich the century-old community. So the shop isn’t just a place to pick up donuts and dash (although you’re welcome to do so); Proud Mary’s was founded as a place to run into neighbors, bond over donut selection, and congregate with a cup of Borealis coffee. This concept came easily to Miller, who runs The Apiary, a local construction and development company. The name “Proud Mary” is partially a reference to Miller’s mother, but he’s noted that the logo of a venerable woman wearing cat-eye glasses also speaks to strong and nurturing women everywhere.
For the moment, Proud Mary’s does not serve vegan or gluten-free donuts, and you’re hard-pressed to find anything nutritional in this quaint little shop. But the staff has hinted at some big plans, so remember to circle back. Riverside