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The man in the kitchen today is not named Mike, but there really IS a “Mike.” The original Mike is Mike Copoulos.
Copoulos bought the bakery at 1524 Tremont Street in the late 1950’s. But the history of the bakery goes back to the 1920s, when it was a German bakery. Back in the late 1880s, many German immigrants settled in Mission Hill to work in the breweries that lined the Stony Brook (which still exists, now in a conduit beneath Columbus Avenue.) The building was constructed in 1898-99 - perhaps there was always a bakery on the ground floor!
By the 1940s, Mission Hill was home to an increasing number of Irish immigrants, and 1524 Tremont was the location of an Irish bakery. The bakery was then acquired by two brothers, John and Philip; at this time it was called Mission Hill Bakery. John and Philip sold the bakery to their cousin Mike in 1959. Mike developed the bakery into Mike’s Donuts.
Mike was known to make the best donuts around – there are still many who will attest to his skills in the kitchen. He also owned about 45 racing dogs, and some theorize that his reason for changing the bakery to a donut shop was to simplify operations so that he could spend more time with his dogs. Still, his hand-cut, hot honey-dipped donuts were unrivalled, and the recipe lives on today.
In the early 1970s, young Bruce Weinograd came to work for Mike. In 1976 he and his wife Maria bought the business from Mike, retaining the name (as well as the honey-dipped donuts.)
So, sometimes, Bruce Weinograd is “Mike.”
Mike’s continues to have a following. Some are as loyal as “Papi” from Parker Street, who lived to be 101 and came into Mike’s every day. Many of the morning regulars know each other, whether they just stop by for coffee en route to work or spend some leisure time over a coffee roll or a sandwich. Mike’s also supports many community groups and activities with donated coffee and donuts.
Mike’s has evolved from a full bakery to a simple donut shop and now to a full service café. The menu now includes the “Brucester,” a breakfast sandwich, soups and sandwiches for lunch, and cakes for special occasions. And, of course, donuts, muffins and pastries - all delicious and made on the premises.
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