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The Donut Lady & The World’s Best Pet Chicken” a Heartwarming Story

The World’s Best Donut Shop in Grand Marais is a popular stop for tourists and residents alike. Founded in 1969 by Merieta Altrichter, you can find its red and white building at the corner of Wisconsin Street and Broadway or follow the lines of people waiting to get a delicious dough­nut or Skizzle during the season.

Merieta’s family, for five generations now, have operated the shop that keeps Grand Marais on the map.

Merieta loved three things, her family, her pets, and her donut recipes. She wrote “The Donut Lady & The World’s Best Pet Chicken” about one special pet she nurtured.

Merieta died in 2008, before the book could be published. Working with Minnesota Chil­dren’s Press of Grand Marais, the four gener­ations of her family that operate World’s Best Donuts today have published Merieta’s story of Emmy, the pet chicken.

This book will appeal to people of all ages. The production quality is top-notch. The high level of care that went into editing and illustrat­ing is evident. Merieta’s storytelling is fantastic.

The book starts out explaining how Emmy came into Merieta’s life.

“It was late in the day at the Donut Shop when my granddaughter, Dee (Dee Brazell), handed me a shoe box.” Inside the box was a tiny ball of black fuzz that would become Emmy, the pet chicken.

The story continues, covering the nine years of Emmy’s life from chick to boss of the family and loyal follower of “The Donut Lady.”

The book is dedicated to “Grandma Rita, Old Number #1.” Her daughter Donna Wil­son did the illustrations. The donut drawings on the inside covers were done by Merieta’s great-great-grandchildren Max, Ruby, Jaime and their friends Quinell and Rider.

The text was lovingly edited by Sherrie Lindskog, another of Merieta’s daughters, and Dee Brazell, Merieta’s granddaughter and res­cuer of the chick that would become Emmy.

Sherrie and Donna wrote the “About the au­thor” introduction to the story.

Kalli Hawkins, a journalist in Grand Mara­is, wrote the forward to the book. Kalli is a great-granddaughter of the Donut Lady and proudly puts in her time at the family business.

“The Donut Lady & The World’s Best Pet Chicken” belongs in the collection of all who know and love the North Shore.

The book may be purchased at World’s Best Donuts in Grand Marais. Grab a world’s best donut while you’re there. Or you may find it on­line at worldsbestdonutsmn.com.

Steve Fernlund
Steve Fernlund
Typically these “about me” pages include a list of academic achievements (I have none) and positions held (I have had many, but who really cares about those?) So, in the words of the late Admiral James Stockwell, “Who am I? Why am I here?” I’m well into my seventh decade on this blue planet we call home. I’m a pretty successful husband, father, and grandfather, at least in my humble opinion. My progeny may disagree. We have four children and five grandchildren. I spent most of my professional life in the freight business. At the tender age of 40, early retirement beckoned and we moved to Grand Marais. A year after we got here, we bought and operated the Cook County News Herald, a weekly newspaper in Grand Marais. A sharp learning curve for a dumb freight broker to become a newspaper editor and publisher. By 1999 the News Herald was an acquisition target for a rapidly consolidating media market. We sold our businesses and “retired” again, buying a winter retreat in Nevada. In the fall of 2016, we returned to Grand Marais and bought a house from old friends of ours on the ridge overlooking Lake Superior. They were able to move closer to family and their Mexico winter home. And we came home to what we say is our last house. I’m a strong believer in the value of local newspapers--both online and those you can wrap a fish in. I write a weekly column and a couple of feature stories for the Northshore Journal. I’m most interested in writing about the everyday lives of local people and reporting on issues of importance to them.
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