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Jeff and Heather King opened Shire Donuts last weekend. Over four days, they sold more than 260 dozen doughnuts.
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Customers can create their own doughnut or chose some standards and favorites of the shop.

Adams Couple Turn Doughnut Dreams Into Tasty Reality

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Shire Donuts allows the customer to chose from a variety of toppings, icings and drizzles. 
ADAMS, Mass. — Jeff and Heather King are excited, surprised, and maybe a little overwhelmed — in a good way — about the community's reaction to their little doughnut shop.
 
Shire Donuts, located at 52 Summer St., with its homemade and customizable doughnuts is fast becoming a community favorite.
 
"Today was our fourth day open and we have people that have been here every day," Heather King said. "We have had some customers back twice in one day."
 
The shop only opened last Saturday, and Jeff King said they sold 3,200 doughnuts in 15 hours. That is 213.3 Doughnuts Per Hour (DPH) for those doing the math.
 
"It was crazy," he said. "There was a line all the way down the street."
 
Even after hours Friday, during an interview with iBerkshires.com, customers were knocking on the door asking to put in orders.
 
It would appear as though the Kings are part doughnut gurus, part doughnut mad scientists whipping up concoctions aptly named S'mores or Chocolate Covered Strawberry — but how did they get into the doughnut business?
 
Jeff, who has a background in finance, said his family takes a vacation every summer to North Carolina's Outer Banks.
 
"We rent a big house with lots of rooms, lots of families, lots of kids, and every year on the drive home, I ask the kids what their favorite part of the trip was," he said.
 
Heather, a nurse, said every year it is the same answer: the doughnut shop.
 
Jeff said he dropped off the family one year at their favorite Outer Banks doughnut shop and just took it all in.
 
"I was sitting outside waiting for Heather and the girls and a minivan pulled up and these kids get out high-fiving each other, mom and dad get out smiling, another family walks out smiling. Everybody walking in is happy everybody walking out is happy," he said. "I asked, 'why aren't we doing this?'"
 
They would talk about opening a doughnut shop back home in Adams after each trip but never really acted on it once the fog of vacation wore off.
 
Then the pandemic hit, and it spurred some life changes in the King family. Jeff said he was laid off in March and now had some time on his hands. Once the space on Summer Street became available, the Kings decided to move on their longtime dream.
 
"It all came together so we went for it," Jeff said. 
 
Plus, during a pandemic, who doesn't need a maple and bacon doughnut?
 
Shire Donuts offers standard glazed and frosted doughnuts, but why not live a little and order a salted caramel or a PB&J? Or a doughnut that will look familiar to any Simpsons fan — "The Homer."
 
The Kings have their favorite creations but did not want to limit their customers. All of their toppings and drizzles are up for grabs and customers can mix, match, and customize their fried dough delight.
 
"They are made to order cake doughnuts," Jeff said. "We make them every morning and while we are open. They are fresh, and they are warm." 
 
As patrons walk into the newly renovated bakery, they pick up an order sheet. As they move through the socially distanced queue, there are pictures of the different doughnut options. Once they fill out their order sheet, they hand it to one of the Kings at the register — Heather, Jeff, or one of their two daughters Lauren or Chloe, who are part of the family business. 
 
Next, patrons get to watch the doughnut get made from the frying and flipping to the its trip down the conveyer belt to the various toppings
 
"We had one kid in here last weekend, he was amazed that the doughnuts were dropping into the grease. He had the best belly laugh," Heather said. "We had music going, and we were really busy but everybody heard it. It was great."
 
The Adams natives are also happy to invest in the town and become part of a growing downtown business community. They said it was easy working with the town, which guided them step by step.
 
"All of the town departments have been great," Jeff said. "We have never owned a business or have been in the food business, so they were really good about answering questions and giving us tips."
 
In the immediate future, the Kings said they would like to explore catering and plan to implement online ordering into their business model. Down the road, Jeff said he has not ruled out opening up another store in Berkshire County if things continue going so well. 
 
"We have been making changes and tweaking things as we go," Jeff said. "But things are going well."
 
Shire Donuts is open Friday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

 


Tags: new business,   doughnuts,   

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Limited Parking Causes Issues on Mount Greylock Summit

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — After a busy season with parking challenges, the Mount Greylock Advisory Council will explore alternative ways to get people to the summit.
 
Becky Barnes of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation told the council Thursday that this summer and fall were busy on the summit of Mount Greylock and they often had to close the road once the parking lot was at capacity.
 
"We really need to explore other ways to reach the summit for our visitors especially on these high visitation days," Barnes said. "There has to be some other way to get visitors to the summit ... we have to do some outside of the box thinking." 
 
Barnes said specifically on Columbus Day weekend the summit was so busy that staff could only let a car in once one left. She said cars were parking improperly and creating safety concerns.
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