Frosty’s owners Nels and Shelby Omdal in front of their Brunswick location, which reopens Friday after almost six months. Courtesy of Shelby Omdal

BRUNSWICK — Nels Omdal planned to be in the Frosty’s kitchen by 2 a.m. Friday baking through the morning to prepare roughly 3,000 doughnuts for the Brunswick landmark’s first day open since the pandemic shuttered it in March. 

Frosty’s Donuts, a local mainstay for over 50 years, will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to noon or until they sell out. To start, the menu will be limited to doughnuts and coffee.

The doughnut shop is among the last to reopen since statewide restrictions lifted earlier this summer, a decision that owners Shelby and Nels Omdal made out of an abundance of caution. 

The shop is somewhat of a tourist draw, Shelby Omdal said, and they didn’t want to bring too many out-of-staters to Maine Street. Plus, with gathering restrictions, no Bowdoin College students and far fewer commuters, they “needed to spare every expense” to get through the winter, she said.

“Doughnuts aren’t worth getting sick over,” she added. “Doughnuts aren’t really a necessity, but with the state of our country at this time, people need a little something to be happy about, so maybe they are.”

If all goes well over the weekend, their Augusta and Bath locations may follow suit next week. After that, the stores will hopefully be open Fridays through Sundays for the rest of the year. 

The doughnuts won’t be changing. Omdal said customers can still expect to get their favorites and a few special flavor, but things will still look a little different. 

A plexiglass barrier now runs along the counter to protect staff, masks will be required and only six people will be allowed in the shop at a time. Food will be takeout only. 

“We are trying to be a little overly cautious,” she said. “We want this to go well and be able to continue to do it.” 

Omdal said they will likely have to implement a slight price increase, partly because supplies like flour and yeast are harder to come by and partly because they hope to be able to bring their staff back, which they may need to increase pay to do.

Before the pandemic, Frosty’s had about 30 employees across their locations. During the initial opening, only family members will be working. 

“There are some challenges ahead, hopefully we can meet them,” Omdal said. 

In April, the Omdals announced they were closing the Freeport and Gardiner locations permanently to preserve the long-term health of the company.

The next few months were primarily dedicated to getting those two spots cleaned out and officially shut down, an effort Shelby Omdal said turned out to be as much work as opening a store. Then, for the past few months, they took a break, enjoyed spending time with their children “and not having the stress of doughnuts,” she said. 

“It was always doughnuts, doughnuts, doughnuts. For us, who generally work a lot, it was a very welcome break,” she added, calling the time a “true silver lining.” 

But now they’re ready to get back to it and hope the fall and winter will provide the boost they need to “make it through this crazy time.”

Omdal said the response to their reopening has been “overwhelmingly positive” and she expects Friday may be even busier than when they reopened the shop after purchasing it in 2011.

“The timing feels right,” Omdal said. “It feels like what our family needs and people are obviously excited.”

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