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New 'Freddies Doughnuts' an homage, not the original

Freddies Doughnuts are back in Buffalo, but their reappearance requires an asterisk.

Challenged by family members of Freddies founder Fred Maier, current Freddies proprietor Fred Frandina has clarified his relationship to the iconic Buffalo brand.

Frandina did not buy the recipe and rights to Freddies Doughnuts, he said, after being asked by a reporter to provide documentation of the purchase. “The family dissolved the company decades ago, and it has been resurrected by me,” he said.

On April 20, a Buffalo News story based on an interview with Frandina stated he had “bought the rights and recipe” to Freddies Doughnuts. What actually happened, he said later, was that he applied for the trademark after it went unclaimed, and is using his own recipes, Frandina said. He blamed a reporter for misunderstanding him.

Last Friday and Saturday, Frandina sold all the doughnuts he had made, packaged by the half-dozen in Freddies Doughnuts boxes, to waiting crowds on Hertel Avenue.

[PHOTOS: Freddies Doughnuts begins doughnut sales on Hertel]

On right, Fred Frandina, who bought the unused name for Freddies Doughnuts, sells to Lawrence Moore of Buffalo. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

On Sunday, The News was contacted by Jason Maier, Fred Maier’s grandson, who challenged The News account. “The family has never sold the Freddies Doughnuts name or recipe to anyone – in fact, there are no recipes,” Maier said. “We don’t want to be associated with this, and you should set the record straight.”

On Monday, Frandina, contacted by The News, took the opportunity to correct the record.

“My doughnuts are emulating that of Freddies’ memory, and recipes of 30 years ago,” he said. “I apologize if that has been misinterpreted.” Everything he has done has been legal, he said.

Doughnuts ran out on day two by 9:45 a.m. on April 22. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

The Justia.com trademarks website says Fred Frandina owns the trademark to the name “Freddies Doughnuts” and the mark: “FREDDIES DOUGHNUTS in stylized text, the design of a doughnut is centered on a shaded bar, the wording “FREDDIES” is above “DOUGHNUTS,” and “DOUGHNUTS” is centered across the shaded bar and doughnut.”

“The family started with the company in the 1930s. They never came up with the times and protected themselves in that way,” Frandina said. “They had the rights but they let them expire after 10 years of non-activity.

“Someone might be upset, but the time has come and gone for them.”

According to the Freddies Doughnuts Facebook page, "there will NOT be doughnuts available this weekend, but the classics are coming" back for May 5 and 6.

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