Tod and VeAnn Gahley take on a new venture
by Lindy Steeves
The Doughnut Hole is open and ready to meet all of Harney County’s bakery needs, thanks to new owners, Tod and VeAnn Gahley.
The Doughnut Hole opened on Dec. 2, and the store has already seen several renovations, including new display cases, tables, chairs, and decorations; all in an attempt to “open up” the room.
The Gahley’s also own NAPA Auto Parts Store and have lived in Harney County since 2008, when they moved from Kuna, Idaho.
“We’ve been here at A Parts for five years now, and we had the opportunity to buy the building. When the old owners of the building closed the business that used to be there, my husband said, ‘this town needs to have a bakery.’ We really just didn’t want to see it close and go empty,” VeAnn said.
The Gahleys took their combined passion for food and family, and The Doughnut Hole was born.
“The idea came because we love cooking for our family, and I’ve worked with food before. I was in the school system for three years. So, I’m not going into this blind, but there is still a lot to learn,” VeAnn said. “And now we get to learn how to make doughnuts. I’ve baked for my family and friends, and my cinnamon rolls are what most people ask for me to make. We haven’t made them at The Doughnut Hole yet, but we will start selling them sometime soon. They probably won’t be available every day, but they’ll be our specialty.”
VeAnn is hoping that the popularity of the famous cinnamon rolls will help around the holiday season. The menu of The Doughnut Hole, while much like a traditional bakery, isn’t just reserved for sweets, though.
“We’ve kept the kolaches, and we’re doing breads and rolls again, and, of course, we still have the doughnuts.”
Kolaches are very similar to “pigs in a blanket” and consist of a spicy hot dog wrapped in dough. The Doughnut Hole has five different different varieties of kolaches available, including sausage, bacon, cheese, jalapeño, and other fillings.
Another new sight for visitors is the brand-new sign hanging above the door of the bakery, complete with bright colors, and doughnuts.
“My husband thought up the name. I wanted to call it ‘That Doughnut Place,’ but we settled on ‘The Doughnut Hole,’” VeAnn said with a laugh.
She remarked that her husband, Tod, was not only part of the naming, but is also involved in running The Doughnut Hole and making decisions. He even had to try making doughnuts at home so that he could experience the difficulties of baking them without the proper equipment.
Luckily, The Doughnut Hole came stocked with the equipment and machinery to make the goodies they sell.
“The Doughnut Hole is kind of like a new baby,” VeAnn said. “It likes to get us up in the middle of the night, and it really hates this cold weather.”
VeAnn remarked that the dough for all of the goods needs heat to rise. But, because of that, they “were learning lots” about what needed to be done.
“It’s a little bit different than the parts store,” VeAnn said with a smile. “But, I was surprised at how many people came the first week because we didn’t advertise much. It was more of a word-of-mouth thing. But we had a great week! We’ve been so happy with the turnout so far, and the people who have come back to the spot.”
VeAnn and Tod want to encourage everyone to drop by and try a doughnut and milk or coffee; or maybe the kolaches, another popular item on the menu.
VeAnn also said that they might add cakes and pies into the lineup of goods that The Doughnut Hole carries.
The Doughnut Hole, located at 408 W. Monroe, is open Monday-Saturday from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Gahleys urge anyone with special orders to call ahead at 541-573-2253.