National Doughnut Day was celebrated Friday. While many people think of the big pastry players, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts, here in the Wiregrass one man has become a legend in the business.
Before the sun comes up and while most people are sleeping Garland and Eva Loyless are up and working.
He’s up by 1 a.m. because it takes a lot of time to make his famous doughnuts.
“He mixes them by hand, rolls them by hand, cuts them by hand, and ices every one of them by hand. We take pride in the product that he makes,” said Eva.
Garland has been doing this for decades.
He opened the first Loyless Donuts in 1979. After moving to three different locations, he’s been at shop off of Highway 84 in Cowarts for 23 years.
“They're the best in the town because of the person who makes them. They're not frozen. They’re homemade and homemade the best,” said one customer.
“I've got visitors from out of town and I'm getting them some fresh donuts that they're going to love,” said another customer.
“They’re just the better donuts that anyone can buy and we really enjoy eating them,” said another customer.
From chocolate glazed to cherry filled, Loyless has a bit of everything.
Most people say the only bad decision you could make, is not to get there in time.
He only makes about 50 dozen donuts each day.
“I used to cook all day long, but some man came along and said there's a donut shop in Panama City. They sold what they had and then went to the house. I said that sounds like a good idea,” said Garland.
It's no secret that the donuts at Loyless go fast. They sold out Friday by 7 a.m., but you can call ahead and they'll put some back for you.
Eva said, “Oh they'll come to the door and say I wanted donuts, that's hard to say we don't have any left.”
But no worries, Garland will be at it again the next day. Even after thirty-five years, he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
“Well, I'm afraid my motor might quit if I quit,” said Garland.
National Doughnut Day isn't just a tribute to the fried pastry.
This holiday has its roots in America’s war history.
Back in 1938, The Red Cross chose donuts to help raise funds during the Great Depression because of their role in boosting troop morale during World War One.