By 8 a.m. one recent Saturday, customers already were lining up in a light drizzle, enjoying the scents drifting out from a small, tented table in the parking lot of South Greensburg’s See Spot Run Inc.
The small, hand-printed sign advertising “Amish Donuts” appeared on a nearby pole earlier in the week, alerting those passing by that the large, freshly made pastries soon would be sold.
Available in varieties including sugar and cinnamon, maple, glazed and coconut, the doughnuts sell for $2 a piece and are worth every penny, their fans say.
“They are amazing. My favorite is coconut. And they freeze well,” says Angela Blake of Greensburg.
A regular when she sees the sign posted, she was purchasing several doughnuts to take home to her family.
“It’s the fresh crispness — these are not store-bought,” she says of the doughnuts’ lure.
Clair Russell of Scottdale agrees.
Waiting in line to purchase a dozen doughnuts for his sons, he says he travels “from here to Connellsville,” wherever a stand is set up.
“They wanted to come with me. … They say, ‘We want them fresh, Dad,’” he says, laughing.
As the line moves quickly forward, customers place orders, receive a numbered receipt and wait for their white paper bag of sweet, doughy goodness.
Lorraine Dreskler, See Spot Run Inc. owner, says the group leasing her lot to sell the doughnuts travels from Punxsutawney in Jefferson County.
They typically sell from her site every few Saturdays, beginning in April until the weather turns cold, she says.
Drivers bring the group to the site in the wee hours, and the parking lot starts to fill before the sale begins at 8 a.m., Dreskler says.
“People are here waiting. We get calls in the weeks leading up to them being here,” she adds.
Customers can keep the doughnut makers busy until as late as 4 p.m.
“They often do sell out,” Dreskler says.
Regional — and national — favorite
On a reddit.com site, customers wax euphoric over the doughnuts, noting visits to flea markets and farmers’ markets in Butler and Lawrence counties and to Ohio to track down weekend sale sites.
Search for “Amish Doughnuts” on Twitter and up pop tweets from fans devouring their favorite version at state fairs and musical festivals, photos of children with doughnuts “as big as their heads,” and a wish that the Amish would deliver.
The popular pastry sales sometimes pop up at indoor festivals and events over the winter months.
If you need a fix ASAP Dreskler says the sellers are expected to prepare the doughnuts at the See Spot Run lot on Saturday, again beginning at 8 a.m., the last time they will be at that site this year.
Head toward South Greensburg, look for the lines and follow your nose.
Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter @MaryPickels.