The local donut scene is on a roll with a new player and an old favorite changing locations and names.
Peace, Love & Little Donuts — a 1970s-themed shop — has opened in Blue Sky Plaza off Biddle Road, while Donut Den exited Bear Creek Plaza shopping center and resurfaced as Monster Donuts and Desserts in the Grand View Shopping Center on Roberts Road.
Name: Peace, Love & Little Donuts
Service: Donut shop
Owners: George Charlan, Marcella Charlan
Location: Blue Sky Plaza, Suite F, 1200 Biddle Road, Medford
Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
Facebook: Peace, Love and Little Donuts of Rogue Valley
Name: Monster Donuts and Desserts
Service: Donut shop
Owner: Mitchell Hardage
Location: 2041 Roberts Road, Medford
Hours: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
George Charlan says he discovered the world of Peace, Love & Little Donuts while going to a wedding in Pennsylvania four years ago. A friend had carved out a nice donut niche in a Pittsburgh suburb and Charlan began thinking he could do the same here.
Last month, the former landscape maintenance worker launched a new career. His lineup includes cake donuts with toppings ranging from apple pie fixings to maple-bacon and raspberry-lemonade.
"I went around, checking out donut shops and bakeries in the area, and found two that stood out — Donut Country and Artisan Bakery," Charlan said. "Our creativity and toppings are what set us apart. Our donuts are small, old-fashioned sour-cream cake donuts."
Although he has the capacity to produce 50-dozen donuts an hour, Charlan admits that would be a bit ambitious, for now.
"I'd be pulling my hair out if I were running the machine that fast," he said. "The way it is now, we can leave the oil hot all day to keep them fresh and warm."
Charlan likens the customer experience to Subway, where customers watch their sandwiches being built.
Peace, Love & Little Donuts is the 10th licensed location, joining four in Pennsylvania, three in Ohio, one in Tennessee and one in Florida.
The shop has the town's busiest intersection to itself after Donut Den departed Bear Creek Plaza across the street.
Mitchell Hardage acquired Donut Den five years ago. Not long after, a bagel store opened a few doors down, and he was told he could no longer sell bagels. Sale of dessert offerings were squelched when a restaurant went in next door.
So when his lease expired, he left.
"There were so many restrictions between the time I bought the place in 2009 and now, it didn't make sense to stay," Hardage said. "Bagels were 15 percent of my sales."
After a Carl's Jr.'s burger joint went up along McAndrews Road, Hardage figured it was time to move on.
"It was the third strike," he said. "Visibility, access and parking were problems."
Moving into a space that has previously housed Dell's Burgers, Taco Time and Samoan Joe's, prospects are much better, he said. "I have three times the space here for half the price."