It is dangerous to feel particularly virtuous about dragging yourself out of bed in the dewy morning to visit a farmers’ market before all the best strawberries are gone. Because if you show up at North Tonawanda, Clarence or Williamsville’s markets on a Saturday, it will leave you vulnerable to the aroma of cider doughnuts frying.
Duke’s Donuts sets up portable doughnut machines at farmers’ markets six days a week across Western New York. Sunday is Holland and Lancaster; Tuesday it’s North Tonawanda and the Rochester market; Wednesday it’s the Springville Auction at Gentner’s and Blasdell; Thursday in North Tonawanda and Rochester; Friday is Ellicottville.
On Monday, Duke’s rests.
“We are completely mobile,” said owner Chad Longman, who leads the family business. “We can make doughnuts anywhere, because we are completely under our own power.”
The aroma is all the advertising the cider doughnuts need. “People will ask us why we don’t get a food truck, or rent a trailer,” Longman said. “It’s because out under a canopy, you get a breeze and it really blows the smell around. We had people at North Tonawanda tell us they parked a couple blocks away, and could smell us as they got out of their car.”
The cider doughnuts are $1 each, $5 for six, $9 for a dozen. Duke’s also sells a raised yeast doughnut, made off site, for $1.50. They sell out quickly.
“This is going to be year-round for us,” Longman said. The North Tonawanda market is open year-round, and Duke’s will be there Saturdays. Longman is also working on the possibility of making doughnuts at Buffalo Bills games and in the Broadway Market.
“It was a niche that was wide open here, so we took the plunge,” Longman said of his career turn from the corporate retail sector to mobile doughnut mogul. “So far so good.”
Barbecue & Blues Bash
Live blues music, barbecue from four vendors and a pig roast, to benefit Gateway-Longview from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday on Mississippi Street in downtown’s Cobblestone District. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 at the door, and include beverages; food is extra ($2-$10). For more information: 783-3220, www.bbqbluesbash.com.