Marge’s Donut Den: notice how it’s not Marge’s Donut Shop or Marge’s Donut Store it’s Marge’s Donut Den. That’s because it’s not about sales for Marge, it’s about the customers and about giving people a home away from home – a den.
Opened in 1975, Marge’s Donut Den makes you feel as if you have never left the comfort of your own home kitchen. Whether you are young or you are old, brown or white, everyone is greeted with a heartwarming smile that reaches from ear to ear across owner Marge’s face. The 73 year-old Grand Rapids woman has a heart larger than any donut she could ever make.
A typical Saturday morning for Marge begins with her arriving at the Donut Den around 4 a.m. where she opens up the den and prepares for the long 12-hour workday that lies ahead. In those 12 or more hours that Marge spends at the Donut Den, there isn’t a single moment that you will find her without a smile. Not only does Marge never stop smiling, rarely will there be a time you see a customer leave without a smile. There are plenty of regulars, from all over West Michigan, that come into Marge’s on a weekly basis. It was a framed picture of a baby, actually laying inside one of the glass donut displays, that drew me to the Algera family.
Sarah Algera has been coming to Marge’s ever since she was in Kindergarten. Her mother would bring her almost everyday after school. Today, with a family of her own, Sarah remains a loyal customer at Marge’s. Two or three times a week Sarah, her husband James and their two beautiful little girls Emily and Amy stop in for donuts. A coffee cake donut with chocolate milk to drink has been Sarah’s order ever since she can remember. James’ favorite is a glazed old-fashioned donut with a cup of coffee and Emily’s favorite would be a white frosting donut with sprinkles. As for the youngest daughter Amy, who was in the picture that caught my attention, she will eat just about any donut she can get her little hands on. Neither Sarah nor James enjoys eating a store bought donut anymore because they love the fresh taste a donut from Marge’s so much.
When asked about Marge, Sarah said, “She hasn’t changed since I remember coming here.” Marge has always lived with the put others first mentality and it shows through her customers’ satisfaction. A family with now a third generation going to Marge’s Donut Den on the regular. Sure, the Algera family loves the donuts but Marge and her extremely large heart are the real reason they continue to come back.
Friendly regulars, an outstanding staff, the grandmother of all grandmothers in Marge and not to mention some of the best donuts in West Michigan can all be found out on 28th Street at Marge’s Donut Den.