Randy’s Donuts is Inglewood’s arguably most famous landmark and is a mandatory stop for Los Angeles tourists. This establishment has proudly been in service for over 60 years and there appears to be no end in sight of the succulent donuts.
When people think of Los Angeles one tourist attraction that always comes to mind is “The Big Donut” located in Inglewood. Tourists can be seen taking pictures outside of Randy’s. The drive- through window and walk- up line are always packed with customers. And what brings them all is not so much the great donut on top but the yummy ones inside.
There is also the story of how the Big Donut wound up in Inglewood. The building has been here since 1952. It has been known as Randy’s since 1976. Larry Weintraub and his brother, Ron, are co-owners of the shop—and they have loved every second of working at the landmark.
Originally Ron worked at the location and the owner at the time (who happens to be a cousin to the brothers) was selling Randy’s, the brothers decided to invest into the establishment.
But the big question people raise is: “How did Randy’s Donuts get its name?” One would think one of the brother’s names was Randy, but that clearly is not the case.
It turns out the original owner’s son was named Randy, thus the namesake.
After the acquisition, the brothers decided they would keep the name Randy’s and work on developing a reputation already established reputation. The architectural design is one of the primary reasons why Randy’s is so famous. The type of design is called programmatic or novelty architecture, which is the definition for a building shaped in the form of the product being sold or advertised. Novelty architecture was prominent in the early portion of the twentieth century but died down halfway through the 20th century. Randy’s Donuts is one of the last pieces of novelty architecture in the Los Angeles area.
I had the opportunity to talk to Larry one on one and he was nothing but open and welcoming. He loves interacting with customers and talking to everyone who comes to indulge in a donut, locals and tourists alike. He has a friendly attitude and genuine love to put a smile on people’s faces and this gives a good representation to both Inglewood and Los Angeles. I asked him what was the best thing about working at Randy’s, he replied “One of the best things about the job is talking to people and interacting with all the customers that come out of their way just to pay us a visit. I like talking to people and making them happy by either talking to them or just serving a good donut.”
Larry is such a wholesome member of the community and someone to take note from since he is willing to always meet, talk and help people no matter where they are from. He is open to helping and informing anyone that comes to him with questions. Larry has helped students complete projects for school, reporters (and local journalists) gain information for stories and filmmakers take shots for upcoming movies.
Randy’s has been featured in movies such as Mars Attacks!, 2012 and Iron Man 2. Beyond movies the Big Donut has made look-alike appearances in TV shows such as The Simpsons and video games like Need For Speed: Most Wanted. The brothers probably never thought the investment they made would make such an impact on popular culture and media the way it has over the years, they probably just thought they would be responsible for adding a few pounds on locals and nothing more.
The Donut making process takes a little less than half an hour. Larry and his crew have established a regular routine every morning to get ready for the daily batch. He arrives at 4 in the morning every day to help prepare for the coming hours. Randy’s Donuts is not limited to donuts alone. This place also serves fancies, which include cinnamon rolls, apple fritters, bear claws and many other fancy treats. In addition they also make cookies, bagels, muffins and serve coffee. Ask about the coffee flavor of the day and warm your body while you treat yourself to a donut or pastry. The very affordable prices make Randy’s so much more appealing to regulars since their prices are incomparable.
Larry’s favorites are the apple fritters and buttermilk bars, but he admits he likes all the donuts he makes. He jokingly added that he still enjoys a good donut every now and then, but he has cut back in recent years even if it is hard to show. Larry says the most popular donut is the old fashion glazed donuts.
Randy’s is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, so feel free to pass on by to get a donut, pastry or memorabilia from one of Inglewood’s greatest landmarks. During holidays customers can also pick up special donuts to celebrate with their family and friends. This past Valentine’s Day the special donut had red and white sprinkles and the popular candy hearts on top. If there was ever an excuse to get donuts its on holidays to try the unique donuts Larry, Ron and the team make just for the customers.
Randy’s Donuts is located 805 West Manchester Avenue in Inglewood CA 90301. If you can’t find that giant donut off the 405 at the Manchester exit, just call! 310.645.4707.