Like every small town, Roche Harbor has its own unique traditions that keep the locals stepping in time and the tourists relishing their vacation. The mornings at this water-side village begin with carillons from Our Lady of Good Voyage and hot donuts, freshly made at the Lime Kiln Café.

Jo Jo makes the donuts Monday through Friday. She opens the kitchen way too early (at least by this lady’s standards) and goes straight to work mixing batter and heating oil. She'll make about 100 donuts a day during the shoulder season. During the busy summer months, the production is an entirely different story – Jo Jo will make several hundred a day!

Jo Jo making donuts

As a San Juan Island native, Jo Jo’s favorite donut is vanilla with sprinkles; or wait, maybe her favorite is cinnamon and sugar, when it's hot. Really, it's both. And it has been since the Lime Kiln Café was just a tiny kitchen on the pier.

Dipping donuts in chocolate

Back then, the restaurant was a simple walk-up window – a far cry from the established diner we now know. The little kitchen, then known as Johnny R’s, earned a devoted fanbase for its perfect fried confections. While the building has changed, name evolved, and menu grown, the fresh doughnuts have remained a mainstay.


These sweet treats keep the locals fortified and the visitors hungry for more. They are perfect when paired with strong coffee and a second donut (just sayin’).

Donuts fresh from the fryer

making chocolate coated donuts

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