Supreme Donuts: Coffee, with a Side of Nostalgia
Old-time decor and unique offerings make Supreme Donuts a local favorite.
Supreme Coffee and Donuts located on 1735 Fall River Avenue can be compared to famed television establishment Cheers - only instead of beers they pass out donuts and coffee. Owner Paul Chaves prides himself on creating an environment steeped in old-fashioned values and a strong sense of history.
“I just spoke to a lady who was in here who says she has pictures of the place from the 1940s,” he said. “It stems back to 1937. It used to be an ice-cream parlor.”
He divulges the story behind the huge concrete coffee cup that overwhelms the front of the exterior of the store and stands at least three-stories high.
“That cup used to be an ice cream cup, “ he explains. “It dates back to 1937 and it was changed into a coffee cup in the forties. When I took over I changed the texture of the cup to make it feel like styrofoam if you were to go out there and touch it. It feels authentic.”
Chaves purchased the coffee shop three years ago and personalized it.
“I changed the color of the cups," he said. "The color of the lettering and logo is exactly the color I drink my coffee. The cup outside was white and discolored from years of mold. I cleaned it up considerably.”
The place is spotless.
He explains how his business is different from various chain coffee places like Dunkin’ Donuts. One notable feature: the drive-thru includes cigarette purchases.
“I’d like to think we have a heart, “ he says. “ We never serve burnt coffee. We do all the baking here. I don’t know of anyone else that sells cigarettes, and the lottery and coffee through a drive-thru, but we do.”
He maintains a sense of community and values in his establishment.
“We’ve kicked people out for littering," he said. "It’s not about the money. It’s old time values that we lack nowadays. So, if Supreme’s not for you, Supreme’s not for you. We have strong beliefs in doing the right thing.”
The “right thing” extends beyond littering.
“Both my brother and I were in the [U.S.] Marine Corps so we support the troops," he said. "We have a collection here for basic necessities to send overseas to the troops in Iraq. We collect flags here, tattered flags. A lot of people tell me they’ve had these flags for years in their barn or garage. We collect them to dispose of them properly.”
There is even a working jukebox on the premises.
“We basically restore all the old machines; there’s nothing new,” says Chaves.
And the attention to detail has paid off. Supreme has many loyal customers.
“We have a lot of regulars. A lot of hard core, 'no Dunkin' people," he said, and then paused. "I’ll let you in on a secret. Sip and Dip employees come here, Dunkin Donuts employees come here. People come for the food and coffee, but also for the feeling they get when they come in."