On Saturday last week I was in our local Penhold grocery store picking up a few items and stumbled across a jackpot. We believe in shopping local whenever we can and you should too. Take my word for it, shopping local pays off – big time! Not only do you support the local economy but you will find treasures not found elsewhere.

Tim Horton’s is a Canadian institution and I wouldn’t dare argue with anyone on that point. I am a big fan of their coffee but occasionally stray off the path in pursuit of a better doughnut. Krispy-Kreme lured me with their golden glazed charms but I always felt guilty and went back to Timmie’s. After all, I am a proud patriot and eating some other country’s deep fried dough just didn’t seem right.

Years ago in Red Deer we had an alternative to Timmie’s – Robin’s Doughnuts. Robin’s coffee was not near as potent as Tim’s but on the other hand Robin’s doughnuts were the best. Baked on site and always fresh and huge. One night I got to watch them pump chocolate sauce  into chocolate doughnuts. They were so full of chocolaty goodness they almost burst. I bought two of those works of art right then and there. And I ate them right then and there. Savoring every bite till I almost burst. The other guy’s doughnuts fell into second place and then a horrible thing happened. Robin’s Doughnuts went into receivership and closed it’s doors forever. Oh well, back to Timmie’s.

Then another bad news doughnut story came my way. Timmie’s was pulling the bakeries out of their stores in favour of shipping in frozen lumps of dough from who knows where. Outsourced doughnuts!  Red Deer looked like it was fast becoming a doughnut wasteland. Cinnamon buns from Glen’s on Gasoline alley were the height of sweet and gooey but they just weren’t doughnuts. We still went to Timmie’s for the coffee but I had to eat two doughnuts at each visit in a weak attempt to fill the void Robin’s closing created. Then I discovered the perfect doughnut in my small-town grocery store, 1st Choice Foods.

I knew these folks did baking in their Red Deer store and brought the goods out to Penhold every day but this was the first time I saw these beauties. Bavarian creme doughnuts so round and firm, the package could barely contain them. Six in a pack – a good round number. The bottom of the package showed puddles of dried chocolate icing, a good sign. Creme was oozing from the golden dough, another clue to their doughnuty excellence.  I picked them up muttering, “Come on boys, you’re coming home with me.”. Did they taste every bit as good as they looked? Yes! Doughnut nirvana at long last.

The next time I go to Timmie’s, it’s coffee to go from the drive through and then we’ll sit in the Jeep and enjoy the co-mingling of coffee and doughnut perfection. It pays to shop local!



2 thoughts on “Shopping local and finding doughnut nirvana

  1. Great post, Dean! Who knew? Not me! Now if only I ate doughnuts… 😉

    Nonetheless I will certainly pass this information along to all those who do. Thanks for supporting business in Penhold!

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