My first hangover (this is actually about a donut shop)

Stephanie Ziebarth

When I saw a doughnut company field trip posted among the Franklin Learning Activity Group's events, I decided, 'It's the end of the school year. Sounds like fun!' So I signed up with my daughter Anna to visit The Doh-Nuh T Co. in Chambersburg.

I didn't know anything about this business, which opened in October. With a name like The Doh-Nuh T Co. (http://dohnuht.com/), I was picturing a factory experience. I was very wrong.

Our friend Winter (a last-minute addition to our field trip), Anna and I pulled into the parking lot next to The Historic Texas Lunch. Immediately upon exiting the car, we smelled bacon. We wondered if the aroma was coming from the restaurant or the neighboring donut shop, because we had heard rumors they put bacon on their donuts.

Upon entering the little shop, we were immediately impressed by the décor. 'It's almost futuristic,' 18-year-old Winter said. All three of us agreed the chalk wall with its welcome message, the screens displaying prices and featured donuts, and the easy-to-view assembly area looked clean, welcoming, and up-to-date.

The field trip soon commenced. Our group was escorted back to a dining area (presumably borrowed from The Historic Texas Lunch), where we were settled into tables, warmly welcomed, and then invited up to watch the donut-preparation process.

The informative part of the field trip was a lot briefer than I had anticipated, but each business conducts field trips differently, and co-owner Bill Kalathas may have discerned that the younger crowd (the girls with me were among the oldest as 5th and 12th graders) was more interested in the actual donuts than the process.

So, back to the dining room we went, where Kalathas brought us hot donuts, and each field trip participant was allowed to decorate his/her own.

I chatted with Kalathas a bit, asking about how the business was going, etc., and was impressed by his friendliness and humility. He invited me up to get my own donut and waited on me himself. I asked what the best-selling donut was and he quickly informed me that it is 'The Hangover.'

'I'll take one of those,' I said confidently, later contemplating with amusement that it was probably the closest I would ever get to a hangover.

When I returned to the children, a boy asked, 'What kind of donut is that?'

'It's the maple and bacon one,' I responded, not wanting to force his mother to explain a hangover if she didn't want to. He made a face that indicated his mixed feelings about bacon on a donut.

I took a bite. 'Let me tell you what it reminds me of,' I said reassuringly, 'Breakfast. It reminds me of a warm pancake with maple syrup and then bacon on the side.' Winter and Anna sampled bites and agreed. 'It's good,' they decided. And the little boy looked appeased.

Throughout the entire experience, I was impressed by the customer service. And, as I told Winter later, good customer service goes a long way with me.

So, after a personable farewell handshake with Kalathas, we headed on our way, all three agreeing that we hope The Doh-Nuh T Co. has a bright future.