KU News Release


May 3, 2011
Contact: Mike Reid, KU Memorial Unions, 785-864-2471

Neon sign from Joe’s Bakery to join the KU History Collection

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LAWRENCE — KU Memorial Unions this week will unveil the newest addition to its KU History Collection — the famous neon sign from Joe’s Bakery.

The unveiling will take place at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at the Hawks Nest in the Kansas Union as part of Student Union Activities’ weekly “Tea at Three.” Free Joe’s doughnut holes, made using the original doughnut recipe, will be provided while quantities last.

Joe Smith opened Joe’s Bakery in 1952 in Lawrence. The bakery quickly became a favorite stop for hungry KU students craving glazed doughnuts and chicken salad and egg salad sandwiches. Smith’s son Ralph began managing the operation in 1981. The bakery closed its doors for good on Oct. 5, 2007.

Joe’s was famous for its late-night hours, and many KU alumni have fond memories of waiting in line for doughnuts and other snacks. In March 1993, the Kansas House of Representatives issued the bakery an official proclamation for “providing generations of University of Kansas students with the best doughnuts in the world.”

KU Memorial Unions is a not-for-profit campus organization in the Student Success division. The unions provide student programs, event services and retail services while promoting the history and traditions of KU. Individuals who would like to assist the unions with the acquisition and maintenance of historical displays should contact Mike Reid at 785-864-2471 or kuhistory@ku.edu.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

kunews@ku.edu | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

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