Our judges had to call the fight in the fourth round of the Donut Wars. With sugar levels and donut love at an all-time high, Jack’s Donuts at Saxony in Fishers delivered a knock-out blow that put the quest for the ultimate donut in Geist a “too close to call” fight.
After a long July 4th celebration on the Geist Lake Coalition’s Blast on the Bridge, the thought of fresh donuts from the area’s newest donut shop was the only thing motivating me this morning.
Jack’s Donuts in New Castle is an institution, boasting over 50 years of business. Their first franchisee in Saxony probably has the most buzz of any of the four contenders for the Sugar Cup (that’s the name we came up with for the Geist Jewelers trophy we’ll be awarding next week). To clarify, the “buzz” is not only from the glazing on their wide variety of donut creations but also from the word-of-mouth advertising they receive every time Saxony hosts a farmers market, outdoor movie, or concert just behind their retail end cap on 131st Street.
Tanglewood resident and former Indiana Weslyan University collegiate basketball player Angie Bone-Downs could not be happier with the reception they have received since opening on February 28 of this year.
“In my little hometown, we had a small donut shop named Vogul’s that closed when the owners decided to retire. When I met my husband from New Castle, he told me I had to try Jack’s,” recanted Downs. “I loved their donuts and found out that they were thinking of franchising, so the rest is history.”
Why is Jack’s Donuts so good? One secret is in the kitchen. It’s not a secret ingredient or a proprietary oven, but the baker himself. “Dough Boy” Greg started working at Jack’s Donuts in New Castle when he was 13 years old. Outside of the kitchen, one might mistake him for a WWE wrestling star, bouncer, or football player.
“I never played sports in high school, I was always too busy working at Jack’s,” he said as he was rolling out some famous pretzel donuts sporting a Mohawk and a sleeve of tattoos highlighted with “Dough” on his right fist and “Boy” on the left.
After Neal Moore’s kitchen tour, I’m positive that Greg found his calling. Loyal customers agree.
Jen Wilson stops in frequently with her 2-1/2 year old triplets for a dozen mixed donuts. She casts her vote for Jack’s Donuts, saying “it’s the only place I go, they are great!”
Even Hamilton Southeastern’s girls basketball all-time leading scorer Taya Reimer stopped by to take a box of donuts home. She was home for the holidays, taking a break from basketball workouts at Notre Dame University where she will be a freshman this year. Her vote? “Jack’s is my favorite here at Geist.”
And when judges were asked for their predictions, Andy Murphy from atGeist.com and the WriteStuff Writers called the fight with Jack’s as the winner.
Ballots have been dropped off with the accounting firm of Wysocki & Company to be tabulated for next Friday’s announcement. At stake, bragging rights to the “Best Donut at Geist” and the coveted “Sugar Cup”. Neal Moore and I will stream live our drive to and presentation of the winner on Friday, July 12 around 9:00 am. It will be the warmup to our 10 year anniversary party that evening at Bella Vita Lakeside which starts at 7:00 pm.
Let me say that the Donut Wars has rekindled my love and appreciation for donuts overall. Each participating shop was locally-owned, had great customer service, and welcomed us and our judges with open arms. Nothing epitomizes “mom and pop” businesses like a donut shop with a line full of customers.
In the words of Sunrise Donuts owner Bradd Morse, “no one walks into a donut shop with a frown.” Well said, Bradd.