As North Dakota town digs out, a Minnesota town digs into doughnuts that couldn't be delivered

Donuts by the dozen were handed out around Wadena when weather kept them from going west to North Dakota. Mason Brothers sees it as a way to pay it forward. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal
We are part of The Trust Project.

WADENA, Minn. — What happens when you've got a truckload of doughnuts westbound for Jamestown, N.D., and there's a no-travel advisory in effect?

Staff at Mason Brothers in Wadena, 45 miles southeast of Detroit Lakes, decided to pack an SUV full of their Abby's Bakery doughnut boxes and go door-to-door around Wadena Friday, Oct. 11, sharing some of their delicacies on a cold, snow-flurry filled morning. Sorry, Jamestown — no travel, means no doughnuts.

Jamestown was just one of the locations in North Dakota that were supposed to receive the sweet treats.

Roland Gilbert, human resources director at Mason Brothers, alongside other staff members were busy handing out a dozen doughnuts at a time in downtown Wadena. Gilbert said they like to do this from time-to-time as a means of brightening the day for those lacking some sunshine, especially when there's an abundance to share. They even have a special sticker they adhere to the boxes which states, "There is joy in paying it forward."

There was clearly joy in receiving, too, as smiles abounded while hefty boxes packed with cream-filled doughnuts, twists, long johns and fritters were handed over.


Tom Weber at Weber's Wadena Hardware was happy to take a dozen donuts off the hands of Mason Brothers Human Resources director Roland Gilbert Friday, Oct. 11. Mason Brothers had an abundance they decided to share in Wadena when weather kept the donuts from heading west into a no-travel zone in North Dakota. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

They started out with about 70-80 packages that couldn't make it out for delivery. Aside from the community, they made sure workers at Mason Brothers got their fill as well.

Mason Brothers is a family-owned and operated wholesale grocery distribution company in Wadena. Among many other products, they ship the Abby's Bakery products that are made daily just across the street from the main offices of Mason Brothers.

A winter weather mix continued to pummel parts of the Dakotas on Friday. Portions of Interstate 94, Interstate 29 and U.S. Highway 2 are now closed due to heavy snow, wind and what the North Dakota Department of Transportation calls "life-threatening conditions." The closures include: I-94, closed westbound from Bismarck to Fargo; I-94, closed eastbound from Bismarck to Valley City; and I-29 closed northbound and southbound from Grand Forks to the Canadian border.

What to read next
On average, our hottest time of the year is from mid-July to mid-August.
From June 24 through June 26 this year, the official sunset time in Fortuna, ND, is 10:03 pm.
La Niña is going strong after two years and appears poised to re-strengthen for a third consecutive winter.
If Lake Mead falls another 150 feet, water will not be able to flow beyond the dam.