Hello and thanks again for visiting! It’s day 8 of the Blogtober Challenge. In case you haven’t read yet about this, I’ve committed to writing 31 posts in 31 days. I’m calling for YOUR help to spread the word by commenting here on the blog, joining my email list, and sharing these posts on social media. For each time you help me, I’ll enter your name in the $50 gift card drawing that’s happening at the end of the month! So, enough about that, let’s get to today’s post!! This one is going to be a lot of fun! Today, I’m reporting on the sugary adventure I had with my musician friend, Rachel, taking on the Butler County Donut Trail! First, I’ll give a recap of our experience, and then I’ll share some helpful tips for making your own attempt of the Butler County Donut Trail.
How I found out about the Butler County Donut Trail…
I discovered the Butler County Donut trail in 2018. I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed and saw one of the videos about the trail. And thus was born my bucket list of things I’d love to do whenever I visit the United States. At the time, I had no clue when I would visit next, but keeping that list gave me something to look forward to and lifted my spirits on days when I felt discouraged about living so far away from my American family and friends. Then this February we booked our tickets for Menasheh (my son) and I to come in July and August. So I got in touch with my friend located in Cincinnati, Rachel, and floated the idea of doing the donut trail together.
So what is the Butler County Donut Trail?
The Butler County Donut Trail is an Ohio food crawl hosted by 12 privately owned donut shops in collaboration with the Butler County Visitors Bureau. Each participant carries a passport card, issued by the visitors bureau or any of the donut shops. Each donut shop stamps the passport card, and the completed card may be turned in for a souvenir t-shirt! To read more about the Butler County Donut Trail, you can visit their official website by clicking this link.
Now, for a recap of our adventure!
After catching up on each other’s lives for a few hours over a delicious dinner of pasta and pesto made with fresh basil from Rachel’s herb pot, we sat down for a strategy session. Since I could only stay in Cincinnati until 11 the next morning, we had to maximize our efficiency. So Rachel plugged all the addresses into google maps and mapped out our route. Even then, we weren’t able to make it to all of the donut shops as some aren’t opened on Mondays. (I’ll give more details on the logistics of the trail so stick around.) All in all, we made it to six out of eleven shops. (One shop was closed, either permanently or for the season.) But hey! That means we can continue our sugary… and I mean VERY SUGARY… adventure the next time I visit the U.S!
I don’t remember the exact order that we visited the shops, but I do remember our first stop was Jupiter Coffee & Donuts.
Jupiter Coffee & Donuts… This place was something out of my hipster blogger dreams… I walked in and pictured myself perched at a table every morning with my coffee and donut, wrestling out my latest blog post. Such a charming atmosphere!
The coffee and donuts were, of course, delicious. Menasheh even got his first little taste of frosting. He wasn’t sure what to think of that…
At each shop, Rachel and I split one donut and I bought another to try later on. It was hard to choose just one! (Sheepish grins.) Even so, after three stops, we were feeling the sugar buzz. By the sixth stop, the Central Pastry Shop, we had sugar headaches! So we asked them which was their LEAST sugary donut, a question that would seem odd under any other circumstance! Turns out that their simple cake donut with homemade strawberry icing was THE BEST donut of the whole trip. If you only go to one place, visit the Central Pastry Shop and try that cake donut!!!
Delicious donut aside, this shop stole our hearts for other reasons… We got the opportunity to meet the owner of the shop, a fellow expat from Columbia with a fiery personality, motherly pride for her business, and a fascinating story of how she came to stay in the United States and got married.
Her international background shines through in the Central Pastry Shop with a world map on the wall where every donut trail visitor is given the honor of sticking a pin over their home country or state. To the best of my estimation, I stuck a pin on Minas Gerais, Brazil. It was neat to see that one other person visited from Brazil too! Hello to you! if you happen to see this! I took a second pin and placed it over my home county in Michigan, because home is where the heart is, and a piece of my heart will always stay with my family in there in the United States!
Other stops on our route included Martin’s Donuts, Oxford Doughnut Shoppe, Stan the Donut Man, Ross Bakery, and The Donut Spot.
My review of the Butler County Donut Trail…
All in all, I give this experience a 9/10. The only thing that fell short in my mind was the fact that not all of the shops were open on a Monday morning. Otherwise, this was a wonderful way to spend time catching up with my friend. We talked about life, family, and our careers as musicians in the car between stops and mouthfuls of donuts.
Our candid encounter with the owner of the Central Pastry Shop reminded me that it’s important to keep yourself open to those random, spontaneous connections. As I wrote in my reflections later that evening… “It’s worth it to open my heart for these one-time, seemingly inconsequential encounters. Yes, I may never see these people again in my life, (or who knows, maybe I will! We never know, do we), but we listened to each others’ stories, and we both gave each other the wonderful gift of seeing and understanding each other even though we’d only met a few moments before. These connections make us feel less alone in the world. They remind us that we matter to each other and that our presence on earth means something; our lives serve a purpose – we are here for each other!”
Who knew a quest for Butler County’s tastiest donuts would lead me to such a sweet revelation!
Ah, Such is life! I hope your week is filled with tasty treats and heart-warming moments with friends, family, and strangers alike.
PS: A few quick tips for doing the butler county donut trail…
- Make a list of all of the donut shops with the addresses, telephone numbers and hours of operation.
- Choose a day when every shop will be open.
- Plot everything into google maps so you can get the best route and save time traveling in between locations.
- Leave SUPER EARLY in the morning, as many shops begin to sell out by 10 am!
- Don’t forget to pick up a Donut Trail passport at the Visitor’s Bureau or any of the donut shops.
- Bring a camera and take pictures! Many of the donut shops have neat photo-op worthy corners and displays you won’t want to miss.
- Don’t go alone and split donuts between at least two people… You’ll probably die of a sugar coma if you try to eat an entire donut from every shop. TRUST ME. We hardly survived eating half donuts. And hey, if you can’t choose just one, you can always be naughty like me and get some donuts “to go.”
- Check out the official website for the Butler County Donut Trail and discover more ways to enjoy this adventure… from bikes to tour bus, there are various ways to conquer the trail.
Have you attempted the Butler County Donut trail? What are your favorite memories/donuts from the journey? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this post on Facebook so more people can enjoy the Butler County Donut Trail together!