Back Door Donuts pastry chef Raffi Jabri doesn’t get much sleep. His typical night shift at the bakery ends at 1:30 a.m. After a short break, he’s back in the kitchen again at 3:30 a.m. to prepare for the morning rush of regulars.

Somehow, despite little rest, the white-bearded, 63-year-old baker maintained a brisk pace in the kitchen on a recent morning as he scrutinized each sugary concoction with discerning eyes. He wore a Back Door Donuts hat, pink Back Door Donuts shirt, and a white apron with brown sugar stains.

While circling the small kitchen, he stopped abruptly before an employee placing a tray of cinnamon rolls into the oven.

The reason for the line. — Jeanna Shepard

“That’s too much sugar,” he said, though more like a kind professor than a stern boss. He moved on to a nearby cutting board and began kneading the dough for several apple fritters, a favorite at the bakery.

Though Mr. Jabri joked that he doesn’t eat the merchandise while he works, he said he can’t resist a taste of the buttermilk cake doughnut every now and then. It’s his favorite of all of his creations, for sentimental reasons.

“I grew up baking cakes with my Mom and Dad,” he said. “This is what made me get hooked.”

Mr. Jabri grew up in Jordan before moving to England in 1973 to study bread-making and flour confectionery. He said the first treat he baked on his own at school was a silver wedding cake for his parent’s fifth wedding anniversary. He even delivered it personally from England to their doorstep in Jordan.

Head baker Raffi Jabri works the night shift, the morning shift and the day shift. — Jeanna Shepard

“That was my first as a professional,” he said as he leaned over one of his 18 employees, instructing on how to properly place apple slices in the fritter.

Mr. Jabri moved to the United States in 1983 and worked his way up to pastry chef through stints at bakeries in San Diego and Falmouth. In 2000, he moved to the Vineyard to work at Back Door Donuts where he remains today. Soon after, he met his wife Shirley Jabri, a fellow Back Door Donuts baker. The couple has two children.

While surveying the kitchen, Mr. Jabri pointed out a collection of photos of his employees strung across the wall, cut out to spell Back Door Donuts. He smiled and said that the best part of his job is training new employees, who are mostly teenagers who have never worked in a bakery before.

“I love working with the younger generation,” he said. “Sometimes they make you mad but I don’t mind.”

Mr. Jabri plans to stick around as long as the job still brings him love. — Jeanna Shepard

A few apprentices behind him hide a grin beneath their Back Door Donuts hats.

Pastry fillings, Sysco, gourmet syrup and sacks of flour are piled high in the dim storage room that doubles as Mr. Jabri’s laboratory. In the corner of the room is a marble table for decorating cakes and trying out new doughnut recipes. Though details are still hush-hush, he said that he’s working on plans for a doughnut that will be prepared outside the back door in front of people waiting in line.

Mr. Jabri also has big plans for the apple fritter, or rather, plans for a very big apple fritter. On Sunday, August 5 at 6:30 p.m. he and his team will try to break the Guinness World Record for the largest ever apple fritter.

“The fryer will be a challenge because the fritter will be turned from round to a square,” he said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Though throngs of admirers of Mr. Jabri’s work have passed through the Back Door Donuts line over the years, he said there was one in particular that stood out: Xander Alvarado from Buffalo, N.Y. Mr. Jabri said when Xander, a seventh-grader, started spending nights coming to Back Door Donuts he became so passionate that he wrote a poem about the bakery. The poem sits prominently on a shelf behind the marble table.

Like bees to a hive. — Jeanna Shepard

Something fills the air,

Back Door Donuts is open.

The smell of the delicious donuts attract people,

Like bees to a hive.

Back upstairs, the young bakers sing along to loud hip-hop music mixed with the bubbling of the fritters in the fryers. Because of an injured employee, Mr. Jabri’s morning shift won’t end until noon (“ish,” he emphasized). He doesn’t seem to mind, though, and readjusts his apron before heading back into the fray.

Though the bakery changed hands in February from long-time co-owners Janice Casey and Rita Brown to three Boston businessmen, Mr. Jabri said he plans to stick around as long as he still loves his work and gets to pass along his knowledge to fresh-eyed bakers in training. As for some sleep, well, he said that can wait.

“I’ll sleep in the winter when I’m finished,” he said.