Top Stories 2015 | #6 — Original House of Donuts opens in downtown Tacoma

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Tacoma Daily Index is looking back at the 10 most read articles among visitors to our Web site in 2015.

The Original House of Donuts opened the doors to its new location in downtown Tacoma in July.

The Lakewood-based donut shop was started in 1959 by husband-and-wife owners Bob and Marilyn Cheatham, who ran the business for 50 years. The business (including the secret recipes for donuts) was sold to Tacoma native Tom Peterson two-and-a-half years ago.

“We’re just an extension of grandma’s kitchen — where grandma used to make donuts from scratch,” Peterson told the Tacoma Daily Index on opening day (see “Original House of Donuts opens in downtown Tacoma,” Tacoma Daily Index, July 8, 2015; “Tacoma Daily Index Top Stories — July 2015,” Tacoma Daily Index, Aug. 3, 2015) as customers stopped by to order donuts, coffee, and relax inside the store’s 1,500-square-foot space located at 766 St. Helens Ave. “We make the frostings. We make limited quantities. We just make good old-fashioned donuts by hand. We kind of call our donuts the working man’s donuts. We just make a great donut for a good price.”

In December 2014, the Tacoma Daily Index reported the Original House of Donuts was expected to open in a storefront located near the intersections of South 9th Street, St. Helens Avenue, and Broadway (see “A sweet sign for downtown Tacoma donut lovers,” Tacoma Daily Index, Dec. 9, 2014; and “Original House of Donuts hiring for new downtown Tacoma store,” Tacoma Daily Index, May 12, 2015; and “Tacoma Daily Index Top Stories — May 2015,” Tacoma Daily Index, June 1, 2015). The shop is in a prime location, just across the street from Tully’s Coffee and the Pantages Theater, and near Tacoma City Hall. The space was previously occupied by the Downtown Vision Center.

The donuts are made at the Lakewood location, and the downtown location employs 10 people. The Original House of Donuts also operates a mobile donut truck called the ‘Holy Roller.’

Original House of Donuts officially celebrated its grand opening on Nov. 28 with free donuts, coffee, and cocoa (see “Original House of Donuts official downtown Tacoma grand opening celebration Nov. 28,” Tacoma Daily Index, Nov. 24, 2015).

Original House of Donuts owner Tom Peterson. (PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)
Original House of Donuts owner Tom Peterson. (PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

To read earlier coverage of the Tacoma Daily Indexs top stories during 2015, click on the following links:

Todd Matthews is editor of the Tacoma Daily Index, an award-winning journalist, and the author of several books. His journalism is collected online at