Heidi and Jeremy Wall (sister and brother) have broken the eerie COVID-19 silence in downtown Fort Bragg with the lively opening of Drop In Donut, a very bright and tidy hole-in-the-wall establishment on Redwood Ave., wedged between two of Fort Bragg's most historic houses of gaiety.
That would be “bars” usually — the Welcome Inn and the Golden West, the latter renowned as one of the oldest continuously operating bars on the West Coast. (COVID closure doesn’t count.)
The grand old establishments are shuttered these days. But something about Drop In Donut's festive donut flag, sign shaped like a donut, of course; and colorful social distancing insignia, spread an unusually joyful atmosphere along the old block these days.
The Wall siblings make Drop In Donut go. Heidi is the all around rainmaker, not her word, but she has used her years of experience and connections at local restaurants and the Farmers Market to power Drop In's launch.
Jeremy bakes all night, five nights a week, and so far watches his work vanish every day by noon.
Jeremy is an experienced pastry chef, but when asked if there is any unique quality he tries to give his donuts, he says no. They're traditional donuts made the traditional way, just with good, fresh ingredients, by someone who cares a lot about doing it well. The fillings, for instance, are made with fresh fruit, not pie filling, something most people have probably never tasted in a donut.
Drop In donuts are $2.50 each. Little Debbie no doubt will keep a part of the market. But Jeremy said the value is in the quality. Blocks-long lines and daily sellouts tend to support him. Little Debbie was unavailable for comment.
Heidi Wall said one heartening thing has been the support Drop In Donut has had from neighboring business people thrilled to see young entrepreneurs taking the bold leap these days in old Fort Bragg.
"Everybody has been amazing," she said, with well-wishers offering help in many forms, and of course buying donuts and coffee.
Jeremy said his past work has taken him to San Francisco, San Diego and Napa, but he always thought “if I ever was in a town that didn't have a donut shop, I would open one.”
Drop In Donut, 132 E. Redwood Ave., is open from 8 a.m. to whenever they sell out (usually by noon) Thursday through Sunday. They are also at the Fort Bragg Farmers Market 3-6 p.m. each Wednesday.
Their web address is dropindonut.com.