Old Town Donuts owner, Keith Took
IT'S A FAMILY BUSINESS!
Old Town Donuts was started in 1968 by current owner Keith Took's sister Claudia and her husband, Steve Burns, at a location in Florissant on Lindbergh Blvd. Three years later the couple moved their store to Berkeley before relocating to its present location on New Florissant Road in 1980. When his brother-in- law desired to change careers in 1996, Took bought the business.
"Prior to that I worked as a sales representative for SelectDrink, a Coca-Cola distributor in North County," says Took, whose staff now includes approximately 30 employees who range in age from 15 to 92. "Steve wanted to go into teaching and became a Ph.D. in exercise physiology. He decided to retire from the family business and I said, 'That sounds like something I'd be interested in.' I took over in July 1996."
Even in a recession, people still enjoy donuts, according to Took. "Business has been exactly the same through the years," he says. "We cater to schools, churches, seniors, kids. The donut business hasn't changed." Additionally, Old Town Donuts is a frequent and generous contributor of pastries to myriad charitable organizations and events.
Took has maintained a faithful clientele despite the arrival of big-time competitors. "When Krispy Kreme came to town, everybody tried them," he says. "But eventually our customers all came back. We're kind of like a landmark. People come from everywhere, they come back here from St. Charles, O'Fallon and all around."
In 2010, in fact, KSDK, Channel 5 asked viewers the place they would most like to visit one more time if they were moving from St. Louis, and then did a feature on the top-ranked places, including Old Town Donuts. Additionally, says Took, "We were voted #1 donut shop in metropolitan St. Louis in 2009 by WIL-FM on the 'Cornbread Show.' We went up against 12 other shops and came in first with a panel of cab drivers and police officers." Adds Took with a laugh, "Nobody knows donuts better than them."
Took, 55, is a graduate of McCluer High School. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater North County Chamber of Commerce, belongs to the Rotary Club of Florissant and is a former treasurer of the Florissant Ambassadors.
A member of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Parish in Florissant, he is married to attorney JoAnn Donovan, the 2008 Florissant Valley Chamber of Commerce Businessperson of the Year. They have four children, three sons and one daughter (two each from their first marriages), all of whom have worked at Old Town Donuts.
Took was named Businessperson of the year by the Greater North County Chamber of Commerce in 2010.
In 2012, Old Town Donuts opened a second location in Cottleville, MO. Now everyone can enjoy delicious Old Town Donuts in two locations!