Blueberry Night

Long lines of donut addicts wind through a strip mall to buy M&M’s irresistible donuts.

After gorging on Buffalo Wings, Ivan Lozano scores two-dozen blueberry donuts. He only needed one, but after waiting in line for two hours, he found a way to cash in on his time.

“I made eleven bucks by selling my extra dozen,” said Lozano, who started an impromptu auction house in a parking lot on the outer edges of a commercial strip mall in Anaheim. The donuts cost $8.50 a box, and some lucky donut aficionado avoided a long line.

“It’s win-win,” Lozano said, pocketing four crumpled $5 bills.

M&M Donuts is a small, literally mom-n-pop shop that compels scores of rabid sugar junkies shaking with anticipation to feed their appetite for that sweet, sweet blueberry and brave the dark by going on a midnight run.

There’s something insidious in the reverse hours kept by the husband and wife team of James and Sandy Ma. M&M opens at 9 p.m. and closes at noon, and yet a long line of cars at the drive-thru and masses of zombies at the door braid their way through the parking lot of the strip mall. A typical wait, if you’re lucky, is about two hours.

“I like to come here at night whenever I’m bored. Oh, and of course the donuts,” said Brian Vuong, a senior at La Quinta High School who waited in line with three or four friends by his side.

Yes, the donuts, the blueberry flavored one to be exact.

The aroma of blueberries bursts in your nostrils and mouth as you bite through the fluffy but crispy crust. It melts, turns velvety smooth and buttery as you chew. The glaze that first hit your senses in the form of hardened syrup is now dissolving along with the rest of the donut. There’s a rush, unwanted at first, addicting after the first swallow.

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You convince yourself that it’s just sugar and artificial blue food coloring. But it’s out of your control. You’re hooked.

James and Sandy Ma have been crafting donuts for about 30 years, and in 2004 they opened M&M Donuts. The shop was buzzing along just fine, making just enough to stay open, when social media sites like Yelp and Facebook spread the word like the rumors of the girl who first contacted an STD in high school.

They’re both pioneers. Sandy makes everything fresh and enjoys her work, no matter how many hours of non-stop lines. “I still enjoy it after 30 years,” she said.

Recently, the couple decided to spread the customer lines out by making fresh blueberry donuts at 6 a.m., when lines are short to non-existent. So if you really need a fix, you know when to go.

Long line of patrons waitings outside the M&M Donuts shop in the middle of the night.

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