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Published November 23, 2012, 11:30 PM

Sandy’s gets a new look with refurbished roof

WEST FARGO - When an institution in the community shuts its doors for three weeks, it’s a big deal. Sandy’s Donuts owner Mark Ostlund saw that firsthand recently when his West Fargo shop was closed for renovations, before they opened back up on Nov. 12.

WEST FARGO - When an institution in the community shuts its doors for three weeks, it’s a big deal.

Sandy’s Donuts owner Mark Ostlund saw that firsthand recently when his West Fargo shop was closed for renovations, before they opened back up on Nov. 12.

“People would come up and just be like ‘Well, what am I going to do? I can’t get my doughnut?’ ” he said with a laugh.

Ostlund, who owns the shop with his wife, Karla, said the shop replaced the roof because the trusses were breaking. And that also meant replacing wiring, ductwork and plumbing from overhead.

While replacing a roof isn’t exactly most business owners’ dream come true, with the new roof, Sandy’s is getting an updated look to the top of the building. The sloped edges of the old roof made it resemble the fast-food restaurant the building used to be home to. The new roof edging will be a combination of metal siding and terra cotta.

“Well, it won’t look like a Hardee’s anymore,” said Jessie Ostlund, Mark’s son and the shop’s doughnut production manager. “It’s going to look way nicer.”

They’ll also be replacing some old, dated signage with new back-lit signs. That will be the final touch to the exterior improvements, and Mark Ostlund expects those signs to be up in December.

The current renovation efforts also included reworking the kitchen area, taking out some walls and getting a new walk-in freezer and cooler, among other changes.

Not to worry, though. Ostlund said they still make the doughnuts the same way.

“I had the first one out of the fryer” in the new kitchen, he said. “It was good.”

Customers missed their shop while it was closed. Ostlund’s favorite story related to the closing was a conversation he heard about between two men. One said, “What am I going to do? Sandy’s Donuts is closed.”

“You’ll have to go to another bakery or something,” the other replied.

Ostlund said the first man “thought about it for a second and said, ‘No, I’ll wait.’ ”

Ostlund believes those kinds of stories speak to the loyalty of their customers. While he says price is important, it’s not as important has having a good product.

“I’ve never been a price guy. I don’t try (to be) the cheapest or anything like that,” he said. ‘But I try to make a good product and sell it for a fair price.”

Mark’s father, Sandy, opened the shop in 1983 at another location in West Fargo. The business moved to its current building on Main Avenue West in 2002.

More change looks to be in store for the shop. Ostlund said he’s hoping to add a kitchen area just for baking in the summer. And he’s also looking to open a second Sandy’s location in the next couple of years.

But, for now, loyal customers can get their fix at the one and only Sandy’s Donuts. Earlier this week Marlys Paulson was there with her daughter Wanda Brynjulson for the first time since it had reopened. Paulson said being without Sandy’s was “kind of like being without a car.”

And Brynjulson said she was “really craving for a doughnut.”

Asked if she was glad to have Sandy’s back, Paulson replied in true North Dakota/Minnesota fashion.

“Oh, you betcha,” she said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter J. Shane Mercer at (701) 451-5734

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