Stop by their shop on any given weekday and Billy and Anna Nelson will give you the “hole” truth.
The Nelsons own and operate The Donut King, one of Eufaula’s most widely known commodities, and make it their mission to make every customer that walks through their door leave with a smile.
The Donut King has been a staple of Eufaula for decades and racked up awards by the dozen throughout the years. The Nelsons have owned the store for almost 30 years, and their product was recently recognized as one of the 10 best in Alabama by the readers of AL.com, and the top pick of the editorial staff of the website.
So, what makes the Donut King donut so good? Well, that’s a good question.
“It’s our secret,” Billy said. “The sugar and ingredients in the doughnuts are a secret. The chili dog recipe is a secret as well. Through the years we worked on the recipes and added our own little twists. We are proud of what we make, and love to do it every day.”
Long before the sun rises over the eastern bank of Lake Eufaula, Billy is at work in the kitchen prepping for the day’s breakfast rush. It isn’t just donuts being pumped out of the small bakery at the corner of Eufaula Avenue and West Washington Street. In the display case, hungry patrons will find homemade cinnamon rolls, honey buns, donut holes and other dishes to satisfy that morning sweet tooth.
Anna says the baked goods fly off the shelf quickly, and it’s almost impossible to keep up with how many are sold. However, she did say “it’s a quite a lot” during the morning, especially on the weekend.
Before purchasing the business from the Spivey family, Billy worked in private business and traveled quite a bit for work. Anna said the decision to purchase the Donut King was twofold.
“Billy worked for a survey company, and while we were dating he decided he wanted to not travel as much,” said Nelson. “He was from here, and we wanted something we could do together. We talked with each other about it for a while, and later decided to buy the business. We have enjoyed it every day.”
With regional notoriety and a fantastic product, The Donut King welcomes in customers from different places around the South. Being the first, and sometimes only stop, for travelers or out-of-town guests, Anna makes it a point to make them feel welcome in her shop and in her town.
“We love having a business here,” said Anna. “We meet people from all over the place and are able to tell them about Eufaula. We like owning our business and being a part of the community.”