Ralph’s Donut Shop

Ralph’s Donut Shop

I have lived in Nashville for 30 years and in that time, I’ve visited the wonderful city of Cookeville on countless occasions. I’ve eaten and shopped all over the town … I thought! On a recent dinner there with 4 friends, my husband stopped on our way home at Ralph’s Donut Shop on South Cedar Avenue. When he stopped the car, I wasn’t sure why because the shop is not something that jumps out at you. His instructions were, “Wait here, and I’ll be right back!” I could not imagine that he was still hungry after our dinner, so I assumed he saw someone he knew and just wanted to say hello. Then he entered the car with a box of donuts. Instantly the aroma filled the entire car, and even though we both pledged to save these for the following morning, we never made it to the stop light before we were opening the box. Inside were 6 of the most glorious donuts I had ever seen. Those were quickly down to three, and by the time the sun rose the next morning, the box was empty!

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If you think a donut is a donut is a donut, Ralph’s will change your mind about that in an instant. Without naming any chain-type establishments, let me say that it is totally worth the trip to Cookeville for these delicacies. They are better than anything I have tried and have a great selection of different types. I don’t know how they do it, but you actually feel good buying and eating their donuts!  There is no shame attached to it … simply a desire to go back the next time you are in the area. My husband got his undergraduate degree in Cookeville and swears that Ralph’s has saved the lives of endless students enrolled there over the years.

And it probably has! The establishment has been in business for 55 years and has a following that is practically rabid. I mentioned it to some folks at the TV station, and all of them started with oohs and ahhs, as well as tongue lashings for not bringing them any donuts. We stopped to pick up our supply at 9:30 in the evening, and the donuts tasted like they had just been made. If you are ever in the area, stop by and I will guarantee you will not be disappointed. It is a heavenly dangerous place!  

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John’s two cents…

I completely concur with Tammy’s assessment of Ralph’s Donut Shop. I too earned my undergraduate degree from Tennessee Tech University, and I spent one or two late evenings sitting at the counter in Ralph’s after having endured a seemingly never-ending study session. It’s been a minute or two since I graduated, but I can still taste that Butter Twist. Ahh, memories…

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