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A&E >  Food

To die for

Zombie-themed Dawn of the Donut opens to huge crowds on North Division

Something’s rising in north Spokane.

Dawn of the Donut, Spokane’s only zombie-themed doughnut shop, opened Friday to a line that wrapped around the shop at 3402 N. Division St., selling more than 2,000 doughnuts in five hours.

Zombie movie posters cover the walls. The ceiling is painted to look like a crime scene, covered in red, “bloody” handprints and footprints. A coffin-shaped display case is filled with the deep-fried confections; a twisted intestine covered in apples, brain fritters and raspberry-dipped zombie fingers.

Owner Marty Judnich said the idea was simple: bring together two of his passions into one place.

“I’m really into doughnuts and I’m really into zombies,” he said.

Judnich, a Missoula attorney, travels through Spokane regularly. He saw the town starving for something. Not brains, but a great doughnut. He bought an old Papa Murphy’s earlier this year and began rebuilding.

The location and the building’s drive-through are perfect for the morning commute, he said, and the theme has people talking.

“The more people we talk to, the more people have an interest just like us,” he said.

Baker Gavin Michels said he’s never worked somewhere he could be as creative. The past three months have been filled with testing flavors, finding what works and taking risks with dough he’s never had the opportunity to do before.

“This is the first time I’m able to make a zombie with two bullet shots in the head,” he said.

The doughnuts are fried fresh every morning and are flying off the shelves. Each light, fluffy recipe was invented by the shop’s bakers – including the vegan doughnuts for zombie fanatics with their health in mind. The bakers haven’t skimped on their toppings: peanut butter, bacon, Oreo cookies and cereal in every color covers the reborn confections.

No, they don’t have an undead cronut yet, but Michels said he’s willing to try anything.

Manager Jayy De Boer’s passion for hospitality, food and zombies drove her to apply at the shop.

“I love zombies,” she said. “This is fate.”

De Boer, a self-proclaimed “gothic girl” with bright pink hair and dark eye makeup, is most comfortable surrounded by darkness.

“My bedroom looks like a vampire’s lair,” she said. “It’s how I express myself. That’s me.”

De Boer started her first job in the food industry at 14, when she worked at a burger joint in Moses Lake. Within a couple years, she was working full time, and has since had jobs at bars, motels and restaurants.

Now, surrounded by sugary blood and guts, she’s found a new home in the industry that she loves.

It’s not a money maker, and De Boer knows that. She was recently offered a job as the district manager at an insurance company, she said, but that’s not her style. She’d rather make people happy with a good doughnut and a theme that bites back.

“This is every aspect of what I love to do,” she said.

Dawn of the Donut is open 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., seven days a week.

Say ‘ciao’ to Ciao Mambo, ‘hi’ to Mackenzie River

Goodbye, Ciao Mambo, hello, MacKenzie River Pizza Co. Grill & Pub in downtown Spokane.

Glacier Restaurant Group of Whitefish, Mont., which owns MacKenzie River Pizza and Ciao Mambo among other restaurants, decided to close the downtown Spokane Ciao Mambo and convert the restaurant to American cuisine.

“The downtown market is more of a quick-service lunch scene, and Mambo’s was primarily a dinner restaurant,” said Erica Coffman, director of marketing for Glacier Restaurant Group. “To better service the working professional locals, travelers and people who are in the downtown area, we felt that what MacKenzie River Pizza would bring would be better suited for that area.”

The restaurant, at 818 W. Riverside Ave., Suite A, is closed and will reopen in October as MacKenzie River Pizza Co. Grill and Pub, Coffman said.

“MacKenzie River is more than just pizza. We’ve got entrees, burgers, sandwiches and salads … something that Spokane downtown can look forward to,” she said.

The location will offer a full bar, with rotating microbrews and signature cocktails and martinis. The menu will be primarily the same as the other two MacKenzie River locations in Spokane. The restaurants are at 9225 N. Nevada St. and 2910 E. 57th Ave., Suite E. There also is one in Coeur d’Alene, off Highway 95 at 405 W. Canfield Ave.

There is more information on the restaurants’ website at

The new MacKenzie River Pizza Co. location will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 9 or 10 p.m. depending on the season, Coffman said.

Bruttles moves candy factory

Bruttles candy shop has a new home.

The factory moved last week to 12609 E. Sprague Ave. to help increase visibility for the family confectionary. The store’s signature soft peanut brittle was developed by Sophia Gerkensmeyer – the aunt of founding owner Carol Measel. Gerkensmeyer began making candy in 1914 at the age of 17 when she and three of her sisters were chocolate dippers and packagers at the Tru Blu Biscuit and Chocolate Factory in Spokane.

She was later hired as a chocolate dipper at the Davenport Hotel chocolate shop and worked there until it closed in 1940.

Gerkensmeyer developed the original soft peanut brittle recipe using a marble slab she purchased from the Davenport and the candies are still hand-pulled atop the original marble. Measel worked with her aunt to develop another candy, called Bruttles, which feature a flaky peanut butter or cashew treat that is dipped in chocolate. Bruttles is now owned by Measel’s daughter-in-law, Jessica Measel.

The new Bruttles location, in the Opportunity Plaza across from White Elephant, is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The store is closed on Sunday.

Bruttles also has a downtown location at 828 W. Sprague Ave. It is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There is more information about Bruttles at

Lorie Hutson contributed to this story.
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