Happy Day Donuts

When I was a kid there was one thing I strove to do with the utmost dedication – be my older brother Ben’s sidekick. Three years older, he was (and still is) one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met. Loyal, reliable, and has the most hilarious dry humor you will ever hear. My only complaint is that Ben always got to do more than I did (yes mom, you can roll your eyes now). He would disappear after school in the afternoons to race and chase with our cousin a few neighborhoods over or “secretly” ride his bike to 7-11 when our mom was teaching music students in her backyard studio. He is the reason I frowned at dresses and refused to play with dolls. Because if I showed I was tough, maybe, just maybe, I’d get to bike with him on an adventure too.

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So when I heard that Elliot, his adorable sun-shining-double-dimpled-son and my nephew extraordinaire, had a reoccurring Saturday morning biking adventure, I just had to find out the details! Happy Day Donuts is a sweet little shop in the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake, Virginia.

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Opened in March of this year they serve up some of the most delicious donuts around. Maple Bacon, Coconut Pie, Cinnamon Apple, Boston Cream, and Elliot’s absolute favorite, the Happy Day donut.

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The Happy Day is a warm vanilla donut with dark chocolate candy sunglasses, a buttercream nose, and the widest chocolate drizzle smile. No doubt it is Elliot’s favorite because it is like looking in the mirror: smiley, satisfied, and oh-so-adorable! Heck, I might just re-name it “The Elliot”.

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Speaking with the manager, Cheryl, and creator of the Happy Day donut, I soon learned that all the donuts are made fresh throughout the day. As the mother hen amongst a talented and creative crew of chipper high school and college kids, Cheryl keeps the “happy” going at Happy Day Donuts. When asked about her favorite part of being at the shop, Cheryl said, “Everything! Its a lot of fun. How can donuts not be fun? We can be creative. We get to make up any sort of donut!” Her favorite is the Caramel Apple.

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Elliot knew the routine by heart upon arriving at 7.30am. Mini Mack cousins trailing behind, Elliot showed us the right way to order a donut at Happy Day:

  1. Press nose against glass and point
  2. Smile broadly
  3. Say please and thank you and a balloon lady (Cheryl) will appear like magic
  4. Repeat steps 1 & 2 until a gigantic box of donuts appears on the table
  5. Belly up, sip ice cold milk between huge bites, repeat step 2 constantly

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Ben entertains the Mini Macks and Elliot as he chomps down his favorite, “The Elvis”,  a banana donut with chocolate ganache, drizzled with peanut butter icing and real bacon bits. “Thank you, thank you very much!”

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Reese, the owner of Happy Day Donuts, says, “We aren’t just selling donuts, we are making a happy experience all the way through.” No doubt with the happy-themed music playing, the bright balloons waving, cousins zipping from the donut case to the donut box, “Happy” is more of an understatement.

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Ben and Elliot are known as regulars to the shop. Ben dons his Happy Day t-shirt (which by the way gets you a discount on your order!) as Elliot plays the role of the best side-kick ever, never forgetting to bring home a Boston Cream for his Momma. I could be jealous, but really, it just makes me HAPPY! Balloons

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Bluebird House Making with Uncle Dan Bates

Mini Mack subscribers might remember last summer’s post from Weedsport with the great Uncle Andy. A lovely time during breakfast at Great-Grandma’s in Weedsport, NY where I harassed an uncle with endless questions. I figured the tradition should continue and being that Uncle Dan pretty much threw himself in the line of fire…uh, um, honorary interviewing time… he was my latest victim, I mean honored guest.

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A New York Honey Hunt

Before we get started, first the winners of the Mini Macks’ Culinary Adventures and Giveaway! Ms. Marsha, Ms. Jenny Sue, Ms. Rita, and Ms. Felicity from across the pond in England! Congratulations winners! Thank you all for sharing some fun stories of culinary adventures from your past. I will be contacting each of you to receive your beautiful tote bag from Crooked Brook!
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What do you get when you cross upstate New York with a Mini Mack? A honey hunt, that’s what. It is our annual pilgrimage to the north where we visit the great and powerful Great-Grandma Bates (think the Wizard of Oz times ten). To the village of Weedsport, with the quaintest of Victorian homes and green hills with winding double-line roads outlined by wildflowers waving by. We embarked on a honey hunt fit for a queen bee. Inspired by the Cayuga Office of Tourism, we consulted their Finger Lakes Sweet Treat Trail brochure.

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Mini Macks’ Culinary Adventures and Giveaway!

There is something equally rewarding and challenging when cooking. It is one of the tasks in life, since time began, that has near instant gratification. Before technologies of this and that, one could mix a few ingredients and quickly tell if it was a success or failure. When cooking with Mini Macks (or other small creatures) this result of success (or failure) is also quickly revealed. Expectations lowered can produce even better satisfaction. Because even a crooked chocolate cake, pre-licked spatulas, or sloppy-measured-scoops still result in some darn tasty vittles.

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