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The doughnut debate

  The doughnut war is raging and the new battle front is in Cheektowaga.

   Doughnut distributors are constantly scouting the best locations for new stores - which often means the busiest traffic intersections. And, when enough donut-hungry drivers spot the new store, it's not unusual to see a line of vehicles stretching out into the street and causing a traffic hazard, Cheektowaga officials say.

   The solution? Build more stores nearby says Bob Bender, a consultant to the Tim Hortons stores nearby company. The company now has more than 70 outlets in the locally, Bender says.

   When the company first entered the Buffalo area, "There was no way for us to know there would be this kind of success," he said.

   And it's not just Tim Hortons; the agenda for Tuesday's Cheektowaga Town Board work session also listed a proposal by Dunkin' Donuts to build a drive through facility at an existing store on William Street between Vern Lane and Raymond Avenue.

   No surprise, the location is so close to the William Street entrance ramp to the Thruway that you could hit it with a well-thrown doughnut hole.

   As the Tuesday night discussion heated up, one Cheektowaga official offered this critique: "Tim Hortons has better coffee, but the donuts are better at Dunkin' Donuts."

   Which do you prefer? And does either make a product that's worth risking traffic safety?

   --- Thomas J. Dolan

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