Could it be!? Is it true!? Don’t say that it’s so! has closed!? NOOO!
I love donuts and I considered myself privileged to live within walking distance of what had to be one of the best neighborhood bakeries around. Not only was it a small, non-chain, independently owned, local bakery, but it was right smack in the middle of the neighborhood. It was perfect.
I didn’t grow up in Wyandotte, but I knew of Vinewood Bakery because of Fat Tuesday. One of my parents would always stop in a pick up . Those were the only paczkis I had ever eaten until I went off to college where I was reduced to Kroger paczkis. What’s the point, right?
Anyway, when I moved to Wyandotte, I made sure to reacquaint myself with Vinewood Bakery. I started a Donut Club at work and Vinewood was my bakery of choice. Out of all the bakeries from the metro Detroit area, Vinewood always stood out. They had the best apple fritters, anything jelly was awesome, and their old fashioned was a killer.
With the start of the Donut Club, I was determined to be a regular. I had never been a “regular” anywhere before, but I always wanted to be. I figured since I would be going there on a semi-regular basis, this was my chance!
But to be a “regular” at any place, I think you need to have that casual gift of gab. You know, to be one of those people who can carry on a conversation with a brick wall. Yeah, I’m not one of those people. I’d probably stare at the wall and wait for it to say something. And then when it didn’t, my eyes would get all shifty and I’d talk about the weather. “Flies are bitin’.” “I think it’s gonna rain.” But I wouldn’t let my conversational shortcomings stop me; I wanted to be a regular.
When I went in to buy my 13 donuts for my club for the first time, I walked in proudly and excitedly made my selections. I wanted my box to be balanced, so I chose careful. Two jelly, two old fashioned, two custard, etc. (No crullers though. Those to me are not donuts.) I tried to explain that I started a Donut Club at work, but the woman working didn’t seem fazed by what I was saying. Was being too forward? Was it too soon for this level of donut chat? I went there every other month for a little over two years, and every time I went in, I tried practicing my casual cool guy small talk. My reward was donuts.
After two years, I got laid off and I was no longer reigning over my exclusive Donut Club. My visits to the bakery were fewer. But when Ellie came around, I decided it was time to get a new club started. An even better one.
Last summer, we were going on daily walks down by the river. I decided that once a week I would alter our typical route to head towards Vinewood Bakery. Two donuts please! Okay, maybe three … but who’s counting?
Sometimes we’d get a few extra and walk to grandma’s house for some porch sittin’, and sometimes we’d just eat them on the way home. And by “we,” I mean me.
Even though Ellie was barely six months old at the time, I felt like I was starting a tradition. Donut time with dad. When she’d be older, this routine would already be established. It would be second nature to her. As she grew up, we would become regulars. Ellie could walk in and say, “Hey Sally, give me the usual! (wink)”Â “Sure thing Ellie,” would be Sally’s reply.
Then one day, the sign said “closed for renovations.” Wow, cool! This would be great, I thought. A new and improved Vinewood Bakery. But over time, I noticed no renovating was going on. And then the sign just read “closed.” And soon after that, “For Sale.” Sniff sniff…
I’ve heard that they are open in another location by the name of Nibo’s Pizza in Riverview and that all the same tasty treats will be available. Come Fat Tuesday, I will sure be there for my fair share of paczkis, but realistically, that’s it. A drive to Riverview just doesn’t have the same charm as a nice neighborhood stroll with your daughter. Not only are my donuts gone, but so are my dreams of building future memories with Ellie at my favorite donut shop, in my own town, in my own neighborhood. Sigh…
So what now? What’s next? As far as donuts go, I have two options. and . I don’t want to bad mouth anybody, but when it comes to donuts, the Hort just doesn’t cut it. The best thing the Hort has going for it is the that’s attached to it. And then Dunkin Donuts? I’m not too proud to eat a Dunkin Donut’s donut, but again, it’s not what I dreamed of. It’s not the same thing.Â It’s not a special neighborhood bakery donut. It’s not a Vinewood Bakery donut.
As I look to build my memories with Ellie, I think I may need to drop donuts and move towards another sweet treat. One that is plentiful in Wyandotte. And that’s ice cream! With , Sander’s, and , we’ll have tons of options in case one goes under. Not to mention, it’s on my bucket list to try all 39 flavors of ice cream from Twist & Shout.
So goodbye, Vinewood Bakery, I’ll miss you terribly. My heart aches and my stomach’s empty. I wish we had the opportunity for a proper farewell. To be able to say “thank you” for all the past, present and would-be memories that are still very alive inside my mind.