Taste-test West Chester’s fried-dough delights
The Butler County Donut Trail has delighted visitors and locals alike with a scavenger hunt of sugary goodness for four years. Nearly 75% of the 21,000 people who have completed the trail are from outside Butler County, making it just as good for the area’s tourism economy as it is for the locals who snack on the tasty donuts.
“Culinary travel is a big trend right now. People love to travel for food,” says Tracy Kocher, Director of Marketing for Butler County Visitor’s Bureau. “We’ve had people from as far away as Australia. We’ve had people from 21 countries all over the world.”
Every year, the trail continues to develop, growing through new stops, new participation, and even a new donut trail t-shirt each year for the lucky winners who visit every stop.
If you haven’t yet participated, the Donut Trail offers the opportunity to visit the many local donut stores in Butler County, finding out “secret” words along the way that, when all assembled on your Donut Trail Passport, earn you a free Donut Trail t-shirt.
As devoted donut fans and West Chester/Liberty locals, we opted to sample the three shops inside our townships: Holtman’s Union Centre location, Stan the Donut Man and the Donut Hole by Milton’s Donuts.
The Hole Truth
We awarded three accolades in our pursuit of local donut excellence.
First, in the category of Most Decadent, we selected the peanut butter cup donut from the newly-opened Donut Hole by Milton’s Donuts. From crushed peanut butter cup on top to a filling of creamy peanut butter frosting, it was ooey-gooey love at first bite.
For the category of Best Filled Donut, we chose the pineapple turnover from Stan the Donut Man. The fruit filling in this treat transported us to a tropical paradise. You’ll enjoy the folds of turnover pastry and delicate glaze on top.
Finally, for the Most Unique Donut, we couldn’t get over the Holtman’s S’mores donut, which is covered in graham cracker and chocolate. The centerpiece was a marshmallow, made in house and tinged with caramelized color.
Blazing the Trail
Every year, there are small changes to the list of donut trail participants. This year, The Donut Hole by Milton’s Donuts is the newest shop to be added to the trail. Other stops have added new donuts throughout the years.
“I always say that it is a canvas for creativity; some of our donut makers get very creative with what they offer,” says Tracy.
This past summer, a collaboration with Rivertown Brewery produced a unique Sprinkale, a beer with donuts actually mixed into the brew. The results were so scrumptious that stores couldn’t keep the cans on the shelves.
“The Sprinkale sold out in 3 days, so we are working with them next year on a different donut-themed beer,” explains Tracy.
Tracy sees a bright future for the trail because of the positive feedback people have shared.
“The donuts are the hook, but it’s not really about the donuts. It’s about the connection between people,” she says.
Stan the Donut Man
7967 Cincinnati Dayton Rd, West Chester
9558 Civic Centre Blvd, West Chester
The Donut Hole By Milton’s Donuts
8268 Princeton Glendale Road, West Chester