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Peterson's Donuts in Escondido has been sold to new owners.
Peterson's Donut Corner in Escondido has been sold to new owners after roughly 40 years. Photo via Facebook/Peterson Donuts
Cities Escondido Escondido Featured Food & Wine News

Family-owned Peterson’s Donut Corner sold to new owner

ESCONDIDO — After 40 years of serving customers in Escondido, local landmark and community favorite Peterson’s Donut Corner is being sold to new ownership.

In a post on the businesses’s official Facebook page, the Peterson family announced they had decided to sell the iconic shop, which will officially change hands at the end of the month.

“​​With the new year comes new beginnings. It is with a heavy heart that after 40+ years, the Peterson Family has sold the donut shop,” the post read. “We thank you for all the years we were able to serve you and that you have made our little Mom and Pop shop one of your favorite landmarks in San Diego County.

Maureen Peterson, who currently helps run the shop alongside her brother Ralph Peterson Jr., said that the family ultimately decided it was time to pass the business on and retire, in part due to the death of the sibling’s parents and the former owners of the donut shop, Ralph and Vera Peterson. 

“My mom and dad started this shop in 1981 and they’re both deceased brother and I have been running the shop and managing this business but it’s just time to retire, it’s time to say goodbye, even though that’s really hard,” Maureen said.

Ralph Peterson Sr. passed away in 2011, Vera Peterson passed away in 2016. 

The donut shop’s new owner is 50-year-old San Diego resident Anthony Deeb, who said that he’s excited for the opportunity and feels blessed to be able to carry on the Peterson family’s legacy in continuing the business. 

“When you look at the history of Peterson’s donuts, it’s pretty awesome, the family started this 40 years ago in the Escondido area…with as much tradition as this place has, I’m blessed and fortunate to have this opportunity, and I want to carry on the Peterson name in whatever way I can,” Deeb said. 

Vera Peterson, former owner of Peterson's Donuts, passed away in 2016.
Vera Peterson, former co-owner of Peterson’s Donut Corner with her husband Ralph, passed away in 2016. Ralph Peterson Sr. passed away in 2011. Photo via Facebook/Peterson’s Donuts

Deeb has an extensive background in the medical device sales industry and currently works at a company that develops medication and treatments for patients with psychiatric disorders. 

Maureen said that she’s confident in the future of the shop in Deeb’s hands. 

“We’re working with him and training him to take over right now…he’s jumping in and really trying to learn everything from the managing to the baking and the frosting—he really wants to keep everything the same and maintain the same quality, that’s how we run our business and that’s what I expect he’ll do to keep the business continuing,” she said. 

Customers may notice a new owner around but won’t be seeing any substantial changes to the store or the service, Deeb said, emphasizing that he wants to keep the same feel and flavor that has earned the shop its stellar reputation in Escondido. 

“People shouldn’t expect any changes to the menu, the building, or anything really. For me this is about carrying on the Peterson name and tradition and not changing things — if anything, I want to try and make our service even better,” he said. 

The new store owner said that beyond just running a business, he hopes to maintain and expand Peterson’s role as contributing and assisting in local community causes.

Under the Peterson family, the donut shop has been active in supporting various charitable organizations and ventures in Escondido, holding fundraisers for the Escondido American Little League, Meals on Wheels, the Escondido veterans center, and numerous local churches, among other groups. 

“I’m a passionate person myself and I truly want to make this place better, like let’s support the community even more, let’s do more outreach, let’s connect with the medical community where I have connections, maybe we can go to the children’s hospital and do some things to benefit everyone,” Deeb said. 

Both Maureen and Deeb spoke of Peterson’s exceptional legacy within Escondido, emphasizing the role that the shop’s especially loyal customer base has played in keeping the business afloat for so long. 

“The community really supports Peterson’s donuts…it’s a very rare opportunity to get to take over a five-star business with such an impeccable history behind it,” Deeb said, also noting the loyalty of the store’s longtime employees who will be staying on under the new ownership. “It starts with this wonderful community, and it also starts with these amazing employees, many of whom have been here for 20 years.” 

For the Peterson siblings, Maureen said that the shop will always hold “special” value to them as a reminder of their parents’ legacy as well as the community’s extraordinary devotion to their family. 

“Owning this store has meant everything to us,” she said. “My mom and my dad put their heart and soul into this…they put their best product out there, they were perfectionists, and always good to their employees, this was their everything…and for us this was our home away from home.” 

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