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Doughnut holes still hard-to-find nuggets in Leigh

Doughnut holes still hard-to-find nuggets in Leigh


LEIGH (AP) - Doughnut holes are still a rare sight six years after the village repealed its century-old law banning the tasty treats.

There hasn't been a rush of bakeries setting up shop along Leigh's Main Street trying to rake in the dough by peddling the once-outlawed holes.

In fact, not even one has opened to replace the town's only bakery that closed nearly 50 years ago.

The only place in town to get your hands on a doughnut hole these days is Steve's Madhouse Market, the town's lone grocery store located between an apartment building and offices for a farm operation on Main Street.

But you have to get to the brick-front store pretty darn early on Fridays to beat the crowd for the latest delivery of fresh doughnut holes.

"We sell out pretty quick," said Steve McKelvey, who owns the store with his parents, Shirley and Don.

That's because only four packages are delivered weekly from the Clarkson Bakery. Each package contains two dozen of the doughy nuggets - only 96 holes to be divvied up by the town's 442 residents.

McKelvey said he doesn't increase the order because it seems the four packages are about how many he consistently sells.

McKelvey even keeps a package or two of doughnut holes he gets from the grocery warehouse in Norfolk as a backup, but they don't fly off the shelf as fast as the fresh ones.

No one knows with certainty how Leigh's old doughnut-hole law got on the books, other than it was written shortly after this farm village was incorporated in 1887 about 20 miles north of Columbus.

"There was a lot of strange ordinances passed in those days," said Allen Schroeder, village board chairman.

Leigh's forefathers, or "old-timers" as Schroeder called them, apparently considered doughnut holes as waste.

"They thought they were selling doughnut holes and making undue profit," said Schroeder, a retired cooperative manager. "It was never considered a delicacy like it is now."

The law was stricken without debate in 1997 when a radio disc jockey from Lincoln came to do a live show about the quirky ban.

"We did repeal the ordinance just to help his story along," Schroeder said.

They almost had to, since the village wasn't even aware of the ban until the disc jockey called.

It's unlikely anyone was ever charged with violating the ordinance, which only targeted businesses, Schroeder said.

Besides, the average homemaker would never be so wasteful.

"You know what those grandmothers did," Schroeder said. "They cut the doughnut holes and kneaded the dough and made more doughnuts out of it."


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