During summer visits my oldest grandson, Jacob, would wake up ready for breakfast. His brother, Kaleb, preferred to sleep. Every few minutes Jacob would ask if we could get doughnuts. Sure, when Kaleb wakes up, I’d say. And that would begin the taunting of Kaleb to get up so that we could go to Donut Heaven for “the best doughnuts in the world”.
Raymond and Debbie Peña opened the first Donut Heaven in 1996. It was the only doughnut shop in west Pearland for many years. It wasn’t a fancy place, but was comfortable and kid friendly. Lucky for us, the doughnuts were delicious, the coffee was always fresh, and the chocolate milk came in single cartons a big deal for the boys.
Donut Heaven was a doughnut junky’s paradise. There were stacked trays of doughnuts in all colors and flavors, yummy toppings, fruit kolaches, burritos and breakfast sandwiches. We’d order, pick a booth and dig in. Two chocolate covered doughnuts with sprinkles on top for each boy. Half way through the second doughnut the begging for another one would start. I’d give in like grandmothers do, warning…“don’t tell mom”.
Our tradition of going to Donut Heaven continued for many years. In 2001, another grandson, Gabe, joined us.
The Peñas sold the original store in 2010 and opened Peñas Donut Heaven & Grill in a growing area on Pearland’s west side. Their doughnut creations are legendary—the Texas Brisket Donut, Maple Bacon Donut and the Peña Donut Sandwich are popular choices. Donut Heaven & Grill is often listed among the best doughnut shops in the Houston area. Jacob was right, it gets rave reviews for having the best doughnuts this side of Heaven.
I occasionally stop by for my favorite, a plain, no glaze cake doughnut. Sugar is not my friend these days.
Note: A few years ago, Peñas Donuts & Diner opened on the east side to delight a new crowd of Pearlanders. Haven’t been there, but I’ll take the boys when they visit.