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National Donut Day: Customers Become Family at Rudy's Donut House

The family-run Castro Valley donut shop, which has been around since 1959, plans to celebrate National Donut Day today.

In today's health-crazed diets folks seem to be sticking to, it's miraculous to see the survival of the good old-fashioned local donut shop.

However, on Castro Valley Boulevard has kept its doors open for more than 50 years thanks to loyal customers who ditch the diets to indulge in the delicious fried-dough rings.

"We've seen generations come and go," said co-owner Gina Alfaro, who currently runs the shop with her two sisters, Angela Ducato and Maria Elison, along with the help of a few bakers and employees.

Longtime Castro Valley residents may remember the family-run establishment originally opening across the street from as a Winchell's Donut House franchise in 1959 by their father, Rudy Grotto.

In 1985, Grotto closed shop to retire, while Alfaro and her sisters worked other jobs for a while.

"We got bored," she said. And in 1988, they reopened at their current location at 3692 Castro Valley Blvd. and named the place after their father.

The sisters decided to stay in Castro Valley because she said it just felt like home to the family, who developed a strong customer following the past quarter of a century.

"These people are like your family because you see them everyday," Alfaro said.

Many regulars continue to gather like clockwork Alfaro added.

"You can pretty much time it."

The shop serves more than 30 different varieties of donuts, the most popular being the classic glazed. However, if your not a fan on the ringed treats, Rudy's also dishes out other morning pastries like croissants, muffins and turnovers. Their apple fritters seem to be another popular item among customers according to Alfaro.

However, aside from their products, Alfaro believes its the business' customer service that keeps folks coming back.

"Service is very important and much is lacking in many things today," she said. "I'm just so thankful for the clientele we've had."

In honor of National Donut Day this year, Alfaro said the shop will be serving some specialty donuts like M&M's donuts and smiley face donuts. Their sweet and tart lemon bars will also be on today's menu.

Always celebrated on the first Friday of June each year, National Donut Day was established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to honor women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I.

Follow more National Donut Day doings on Facebook or on Twitter at #DoughnutDay or #DonutDay. You can also visit donutdayusa.com.

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