MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Don DeWeese didn’t set out to be the doughnut man, but after years of owning one the country’s most recognized independent shops, that’s what he is today.
“I was just a person who liked doughnuts, myself,” DeWeese said, explaining how he came to own one Gibson’s Donuts, a local landmark in East Memphis.
Friday is National Doughnut Day, and DeWeese appeared on WREG’s Live At 9 show. He is the subject of a new book called “The Donut Man.”
Author Stephen Williford thought the book about a Memphis food icon would be a slam dunk.
“When you go into Gibson’s, you quickly see it’s not just a store. It’s an experience,” Williford said.
But first he had to convince DeWeese that it was a good idea.
“He thought nobody would read the book,” Williford said.
DeWeese explained that Gibson’s opened in 1957. He was a regular customer there, and when the original owner decided to sell the store for health reasons, DeWeese decided to buy it as an investment.
The rest is history. Visitors have included Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant, wrestler Jerry Lawler and FedEx founder Fred Smith.
DeWeese is behind the counter and in the kitchen.
“We are now the largest one-owner, one-location doughnut shop in this United States of America. We have already done 700 dozen this morning since six o’clock,” DeWeese said.
What’s his favorite? A 15-minute-old cinnamon roll, just before it gets cold, he said. And he might just convince you that it’s health food.
“A doughnut has less carbohydrates than a bagel,” he said. And it makes you smile.
Gibson’s Donuts is at 760 Mount Moriah Road near Poplar.