Lone Star's Fun Foods
Tasty treats, fun to eat!
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The Lone Star story began in 1950 in Dallas, Texas when S M (Merrell) Burdine, J L Ward, and their wives, Lela Burdine and Orpha Ward, opened Oak Cliff’s first donut shop. Together they and one employee, hired to cut the dough, produced 300 dozen donuts every day which were sold through a storefront and delivered fresh daily. The husbands would deliver the products while the wives operated the 600-square-foot shop on Bishop Avenue. As the number of wholesale donut deliveries increased, the business grew.
The Lone Star donut quickly became a breakfast staple in Dallas – a nickel would buy two as well as a cup of coffee. Merrell Burdine's son, C E (Gene) Burdine, merged his Sunset Donuts with Lone Star in 1955, and in 1957 Merrell acquired his partner's share of the company making it 100% Burdine owned. This year also marked the beginning of the automation of the plant. Up until that time, dough was rolled out by hand and all products were cut by hand. With the ability to produce more donuts in less time, the business grew.
Father and son moved their growing operation to its current location on Beckley Avenue in 1963. Merrell died in 1969, leaving the business to his wife and two sons. Two years later Gene purchased his mother’s and brother’s shares of the company and became its sole owner. The business continued to grow.
In 1968, shortly before Merrell’s death, the company began franchising the brand. Throughout the 1970s, “Lone Star Donuts” became a Dallas fixture, with 32 stores carrying its name. By 1978 the expansion into food service and fresh sales to grocery and convenience stores created a conflict with the franchise model. Therefore, in 1980, franchise operations ceased. And yet, the business grew.
In 1984 Lone Star began the research and development of a new bakery product. They developed a recipe, purchased a commercial oven and began production of a variety of flavors of baked rolls. These new products proved to be very popular and gained wide exposure through sales to what would eventually become Sam’s Club in 1990. And the business grew…a lot!
By the early 1990s, Lone Star developed a cake donut product and called them Babycakes®. These mini-cake donuts were wildly popular, and sales soared.
Gene Burdine passed away suddenly in 2002 and his wife and daughters stepped into the void to carry on the business. His wife, Dolores, died in 2014 and his eldest daughter, Kathy, died in 2018. The youngest daughter, Sherry Burdine, is now the acting CEO of the company. As the third generation of ownership, Sherry is excited and proud to carry on the family tradition and to lead the company in new and exciting directions. Today in 2020, Lone Star celebrates its 70th year!
Without a loyal and faithful community of customers, employees, brokers and vendors, this story would have ended long ago. Thanks to everyone who has played a part in the success of Lone Star Consolidated Foods, LLC. There is much more to come…stay tuned!