Back Door Donuts opens for the season

As popular Island bakery ramps up, the countdown to summer begins. 


Summer on Martha’s Vineyard will be here before you know it, and the signs are everywhere — sidewalks are more active, the trees are beginning to bloom, and Back Door Donuts has opened up.

When the famed doughnut shop opens up its walk-in location in Post Office Square in Oak Bluffs, it’s only a matter of time before a line wrapping around the block materializes in front of their nighttime bakery at the corner of Reliable parking lot, and the full-fledged heat of summer will be upon us.

While the back door of Back Door Donuts has become a seasonal icon, the front of the bakery (open during the daytime) offers yummy doughnuts, coffee, and other sweet treats (the apple fritter is a self-attested wonder). The back door offers similar creations, except the doughnuts are made fresh to order.

Tyler Heineman, general manager of Back Door, said he’s excited that opening day has finally arrived, and that Circuit Avenue is looking a little more bustling day by day.

“We pretty much just wait until we start to see more people on the Island and think it will get busy enough for us to open up,” Heineman said. 

For the daytime operation, Heineman said, Islanders and regular customers are often in early to buy some doughnuts and coffee, so he is keeping the store open seven days a week to accommodate that crowd.

The back door will be open on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 pm, and as the number of summer visitors increases, so will the doughnut output, and the operating hours for the popular summer must-try.

“That will be incredibly busy, like it always is. I don’t have enough staff to do that right now. Once the J1s start arriving, we go full force with it,” Heineman said.

He added that the last few weeks have been focused on deep cleaning, and getting the shop ready to serve customers, while adhering to health regulations.

“Other than that, it’s just ordering and setting up what we need to get the doughnuts ready to go, and we know how to do that pretty well,” Heineman laughed.

There will eventually be a few menu additions, with a couple new savory items that Back Door is looking to try out, but Heineman isn’t giving away those surprises quite yet. 

For Heineman and his employees, they are just happy to be making the doughnuts again.

“It feels awesome. I love just talking to customers, having them come in and taking care of them. Obviously, we are operating in such a beautiful spot, and we are kind of a historic place, so it’s a really great thing to be a part of.”

Seasonal visitor Steve Catalano stepped out of the doughnut shop with some coffee and confections and said he and his family come to Back Door whenever they visit the Island.

“I really enjoy Back Door Donuts.They have a great reputation and they certainly live up to that — we usually get the daytime doughnuts,” Catalano said.