donuts

History of LaMar’s

LaMar’s in the old days

The roots of LaMar’s Donuts date back to 1933 when Ray Lamar, 17,  began making donuts at the Jack Frost Donuts Company.

During those days, wholesale donuts were made in the morning and the store opened for retail business at 11am and stayed open until midnight. Back then, a dozen donuts cost 18 cents. Cake donuts were either plain or dusted with powdered sugar or granulated sugar.  Yeast donuts were also available. By the early 1940s, Ray Lamar introduced new flavors, devil’s food donuts, chocolate iced donuts and an apple spice donut to the menu. 

Ray Lamar opened the first LaMar’s Donuts in a converted gas station on Linwood Blvd. in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1960. Locals immediately flocked to the homemade donuts and LaMar’s Donuts became a Kansas City institution. Lines started forming before 6 a.m., and by closing time more than 11,000 donuts are sold at this single location. The store was known for their fresh, delicious donuts and the staff never refused a special request.

Based on the donut shop’s phenomenal success and widespread reputation, Ray LaMar and his wife Shannon, made the decision in 1990 to franchise LaMar’s Donuts. Today, we have 27 locations in six states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. LaMar’s Donuts have been recommended by Zagat’s Survey, The New Yorker and Gourmet Magazine, and was chosen in the summer of 2008 as one of America’s five best donuts by AOL Cityguide.

Ray was a guest on Good Morning America, The Today Show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Hallmark Cards designed a greeting card in his honor and the Kansas Trivial Pursuit game has a question that reads: “Where do you stand in line for donuts in Kansas City?” Answer: LaMar’s Donuts.

About Ray Lamar

Ray Lamar learned his trade and progressed through management ranks of the Jack Frost Donuts Company in LaSalle Theater at 34th and Broadway. “I was paid $12 a week. I worked every day for 2 years before I found out I was supposed to get a day off.”

Ray Lamar had worked his way up to a position as partner in Jack Frost’s Donut Company when World War II interrupted his career. A post-war college degree in economics propelled Ray to become a stockbroker, until one day in 1960 when he made the decision to return to the business he had always loved.