Omaha shops celebrate National Donut Day

The celebration started in the 1930s as a fundraiser for The Salvation Army.
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 4:43 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A bad day to start a diet. On Friday Omaha locals celebrated National Donut Day.

The celebration started in the 1930′s as a fundraiser for the Salvation Army. They raised money to help those in need during the great depression, and to honor the Salvation Army members who served donuts to soldiers during World War I.

Every day is donut day at Pettit’s Pastry. They’ve been serving donuts to the community for close to 70 years.

“My dad and my grandpa started it,” Mark Pettit said. “Then my dad purchased a Dixie Crème Donut franchise when he got back from the Korean war and in 1968 they changed the name to Pettit’s Pastry and we’ve been rolling our donuts ever since.”

This family-owned donut shop is thriving, able to keep pace with the large chain donut shops by increasing the variety of donuts they offer.

“Now we’re doing strawberry donuts and fruity pebble donuts cinnamon crunch, every day we have about - 60 different varieties you can buy.”

Customers come here just to get their day started.

“Just the wake up in the morning, it’s got to be the number one thing, that and coffee,” one customer said.

“It’s all about that sugar rush, getting the day started.”

Others stop by because it’s tradition.

“We used to live not far from here so it was a Saturday morning treat that we would come and get donuts,” another customer said.

And there are some here just to celebrate National Donut Day.

“I stopped today just because it’s donut day, I actually cut it out of my diet,” a customer said.

A little further south customers line up and wait to get inside of Olsen Bake Shop.

This bakery is also family-owned. The fifth generation of Olsens are working here now.

Mike’s great great grandpa, two greats and an uncle, they came over and were bakers over in Germany,” Deb Olsen said.

The bake shop is all dressed up for this special day, some of the customers called a timeout to get their donuts today.

“I’m supposed to be working from home right now, I started at 5:30 a.m. but I escaped just to get donuts because we need them just to get the day started.”

They also have a very loyal customer base here. For some, it’s more than a business-customer relationship.

“I come up here once a week. My brother comes up here, we see her every day, she’s just a family member.”

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