The Original Crispie Creme Donuts: On the Ohio Donut Trail in Chillicothe
Posted by cmh gourmand on May 7, 2011
Welcome back to the Ohio Donut Trail, the ongoing mission to find the finest fried dough in Ohio. During this phase of the intensive research process these are the donuteries at the top of the leaderboard: DK Diner, Auddino’s, and Bill’s.
The donut tasting team took a trip south to dig into the donut heritage of Ohio’s other half, south of I-70. One third of our three stop tour took us to Chillicothe. Our destination was Crispie Creme. Not that Krispy Kreme, it is this Crispie Creme. KK has served donuts since 1937. Chillicothe’s own Crispie Creme has crafted dough since 1929.
This shop serves as a community meeting point and landmark in Chillicothe. The counter is well-worn from elbow scuffs by generations of donut eaters killing time on a stool catching up with neighbors while watching the donut construction process in the kitchen directly behind the service area. All donut styles are represented on the menu as well as some less common variants including Mountain Tops (chocolate frosted doughnuts with a large dollop of creamy icing on top), maplenut bismarks, fudgies and lots of jelly filled and topped treats.
During our visit, we saw four generations of Crispie Creme fans come in together to pick out a box for their clan. The son of the entourage was about five years old. He was given the honor of carrying the box out the door to the pick up truck with the warning “boy, if you drop that box you better run as fast as you can”. At the same time, I had a box in my hands too, so I could feel the responsibility and the fear of crispie creme custody. Neither of us dropped our boxes. I also considered running as fast as I could but since I was not driving I opted to share.
There are some interesting mysteries about Crispie Creme. First what is the Original Recipe they tout on the sign? Alas, I did not think to ask until we were twenty miles away on State Route 35 heading to Bill’s in Centerville. Another mystery involves their merchandising. In an area that would safely be labeled conservative, in a place serving a traditional product as scared as apple pie, hots dogs and Chevrolet, how it that all of their shirts and such are tie-dyed or brightly colored and infused with peace symbols? Could hippies have taken over at some point in the 1960’s with their Sweet Love? This dichotomy works because I made a rare impulse clothing purchase to prove this marketing approach really happened and really worked in small town USA.
The donut tasting team tried the donuts and we found them to be good. What we liked more was the character and spirit of this place. There is a lot of history at Crispie Creme and a lot of donuts to sample while you soak in the ambiance of Chillicothe.
47 North Bridge Street
Disclaimer and foreshadowing: I anticipate that someone will ask about New System Bakery. I wanted to go but New System is not open weekends and not open late in the day so the Ohio Donut Tour will have to wait for a while on this one. I don’t know what new system New System uses but I can assure you Crispie Creme uses the old system and they use it well.
New System Bakery
175 E Main St