Customers seeking a sugar-laden, caffeine-rich start to their morning know that Dave’s Donuts will deliver all that and more. Friendly service tops the list of extras at Dave’s along with cleanliness, professionalism and fun. At the recent grand opening, Dave hired a three-piece jazz ensemble to play for the morning crowd and children received red and white balloons.  
“It seemed to me that Shawnee could stand another doughnut shop. We wanted something that was a little on the upscale side, without the upscale prices. We wanted a nice, homey atmosphere so people would be comfortable here,” said Dave Larson, owner of Dave’s Donuts.
Larson has spent his life in the restaurant field. Thirty years ago, he made doughnuts. He’s done catering, cooked at Unity Hospital, and most recently, he was supervisor of dining facilities and kitchens for the United States troops in Iraq for three years. 
“I needed something to do, and I was unemployed here, couldn’t find a job. My feeling is that God opened the door for me to go there and it was very beneficial to me, and hopefully to others as well. I felt the door opened, so I went,” Larson said.
Although not on the front lines, Larson had a few close calls. Upon arrival in Iraq, his convoy met with a group of gun-toting, anti-American Iraqis on the highway. Weapons were brandished, but an American tank sitting a quarter mile away on a bridge diffused the situation.
“You could feel we were not desirable people there. All the bases I was on at one point or another were attacked with mortars and rockets. The last base I was on, we were attacked on average every 10 days or so. The worst night I was there, we took 10 rockets that destroyed a storage container, but soldiers were sleeping only 30 feet away from it.  Thank God, no soldiers were hurt,” Larson said.
Tucked into the elbow of the strip mall on North Kickapoo just north of Oklahoma Baptist University, Dave’s Donuts opens at 5 a.m., but Larson and his employees start making the doughnuts at 1 a.m. The shop offers a variety of 15 to 20 doughnuts each day. Even then, there are sub-varieties by taking one style of doughnut and changing up the glaze and toppings.
Another item that Larson keeps on hand is board games. Customers are invited to pull up a chair and relax with a doughnut, coffee and a game of some kind. 
All employees wear a crisp white apron with the Dave’s Donuts logo embroidered across the bib, plus white polo shirt and khaki slacks ... and a smile. No matter how busy, Larson’s employees always seem to have a kind word and a ready smile for anyone who walks through the door.    
Larson’s fiancée, Janice Adams, works side by side with Larson and has been involved in the dream, the reality and the future of the shop. 
Adams chose the garage sale dining sets so customers could feel as if they are sitting in their own family’s dining room. The oak shelves in the shop boast a line of gift baskets that Adams puts together. 
“I’ve always collected old, vintage dishes and had a stash of little orphans that I was building putting cups with saucers and plates,” she said. “I liked them and thought others might like them and they sort of went with doughnuts. My thought being that I wanted to fill the selves with things for people on the go, on their way to work or in a rush, to grab a gift for Secretary’s Day or on their way to grandma’s.”
Adams said that Dave’s Donuts stays open until 3 p.m. Monday through Saturdays because people don’t always have a chance to get to the shop early. The late closing time allows people to stop in for a doughnut at their leisure, especially on Saturdays. And any leftover doughnuts are donated to non-profit organizations around town.
She and Larson are working out the logistics of serving lunch at the shop beginning in the next few weeks.
“We’ve got a menu in mind,” Larson said. “I like doing things different from what is already being done in Shawnee. There are several different sorts of foods that people are already doing, and doing it well. They don’t need me in there messing around with it, but if I have something new and different, that’s a plus for the people of Shawnee.”