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Do it for the Donuts

Joann Guitarte appreciates the art of a plain glazed donut. Though she’s been in the restaurant business for over 20 years and studied for three years how to craft unique, artisanal donuts, it’s a simple glazed donut that most speaks to her chef’s palate. But if you twist her arm for her “eclectic flavor” pick, she says she’d have a hard time choosing between an old fashioned pistachio and a crème brulée donut.

Alameda Post - five people wearing or holding donut merchandise jump in the air and smile
Photo Chris M. Leung, courtesy Donut Fun Run.

Guitarte has big donut plans. The Donut Fun Run, on October 21 at the Seaplane Lagoon Promenade, 1801 Ferry Point, is just the first of several donut-themed ideas she’s cooking up. Next on the list is a donut museum, which she says will be similar to the erstwhile Museum of Ice Cream that was a hit in San Francisco until it closed in 2021.

“Someday, we hope to roll out the Donut Museum,” she told the Alameda Post. “I guess what I’m trying to say is there’s a whole master plan for the love of donuts.”

Guitarte is the owner and executive chef of several local favorites, including Cafe Jolie and Donut Petit. She opened the donut shop on Santa Clara Avenue three years ago and has been thinking about other creative ways she can play off of the donut theme ever since.

Alameda Post - Joann Guitarte next to a Donut Fun Run sign
Joann Guitarte. Photo courtesy Donut Fun Run.

“My passion as a chef led me to open a donut shop,” she said. “The other reason was that we needed a gourmet donut shop in Alameda. We have all these mom and pop shops that are all really great, but I wanted to open the first artisanal donut shop in the area.”

The Donut Fun Run and Festival is one of the donut-related ideas Guitarte has manifested since Donut Petit’s opening.

“There’s nothing in the Bay Area that’s similar and at the same caliber, so I wanted to be the first,” she said. The event was initially going to just be a fun run, but the ideas kept coming and more and more people wanted to get involved. So the donut festival portion of the day was born. Participants do not need to run to attend the free festival, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Alameda Post - three people eating donuts
Photo courtesy Donut Fun Run.

The festival, emceed by Sanford Marshall of SanMan Productions, will include local food and beverage booths, including beer and wine, along with a maker’s expo, a live DJ, a donut eating contest, and a performance by the Dancing Donuts. The Dancing Donuts are another offshoot of Guitarte’s grand donut master plan. The group—made up of exactly one dozen dancers, naturally—is choreographed by the Dance 10 Performing Arts Center, the same studio that’s home to Alameda’s iconic Tap Dancing Christmas Trees.

The race portion of the day begins at 8 a.m., but participants are encouraged to line up between 7 and 7:30 a.m. for warm-ups led by a local fitness instructor. After the warm-up, 100 inflatable donuts will rain down on the runners to adorn themselves for the race.

Alameda Post - the donut fun run map
Race map. Image courtesy Donut Fun Run.

“That’s our take on Bay to Breakers, who throw out tortillas,” said Guitarte. “We’ll be throwing out inflatable donuts. We want people to get into the spirit, grab an inflatable donut, run with them, put them on their head—it’s gonna be a good time.”

Participants can sign up online for the 5K fun run. Entry fee for adults is $35, $25 for youth ages 11-22 and seniors over 55, and free for children 10 and under. All racers will receive a finisher medal, a Donut Fun Run bib, and a donut from Donut Petit. There’s also a VIP experience available for $100, which includes registration for the 5K race, a race t-shirt, bib, finisher medal, donut, access to the VIP lounge with reserved seating, hors d’oeuvres and desserts from Pacific Fine Foods and Whisk Cake Creations, two drink tickets for beer and wine, and a swag bag.

Alameda Post - Donut Fun Run participants in donut costumes
Photo courtesy Donut Fun Run.

With all the fun festivities of the day in mind, Guitarte is most excited about raising money for Meals on Wheels. “This charity is really dear to my heart,” she said. “I think it’s important that we support our elder community,” she said, adding that her goal is to raise $5,000 for the charity, which will cover the cost of 556 meals.

Meals on Wheels of Alameda County serves 2,700 seniors a day. The program “enables homebound seniors to maintain their independence by providing financial support and strategic assistance to Meals on Wheels programs that deliver nutritious meals and perform wellness checks.”

For more information on the race and festival, visit the Donut Fun Run website. Tickets will be available for purchase until October 19.

Kelsey Goeres is a contributing writer for the Alameda Post. Contact her via [email protected]. Her writing is collected at

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