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Southern Maid in Shreveport!

Southern Maid Hearne Avenue
The Southern Maid Donut Shop on Hearne Avenue in Shreveport is the BOMB.

There are many donuts to be had. There's Krispy Kreme and Shipley's and Dunkin, for example. But they are mere, pathetic imitations of what can be truly described as the queen of fried sugar-coated rings: Southern Maid Donuts, particularly the ones made in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Southern Maid donuts began with the Hargrove family from Sulphur Springs (Hopkins County, Texas), who returned to Texas after dealing with the fallout of the Great Depression in Oklahoma. They opened a shop on Second Avenue near Fair Park in 1937, from which they also sold their recipe to others who wanted to open a shop.

Today, the original location is... a parking lot! A standard fate for any historic place in Dallas. The Hargroves now run their Southern Donut mill in Garland.

Then came the Jones family, who hailed from Ringgold (Montague County, Texas). They opened the first Southern Maid franchise in Shreveport in 1941. Here, they made the decision to sell hot, fresh donuts in the afternoon, not in the morning. Their idea became a Shreveport staple. Still today, they are served fresh and hot in the afternoon until 10 pm at night.

Bruce Jones wasn't just a doughnut baker, though. He was also the quintessential showman. By styling himself "The Donut King," using a trained poodle named Miss Merry to advertise, sponsoring the Louisiana Hayride, and getting superstars like Elvis and Johnny Cash to sing praises, Southern Maid Donuts became synonymous with Shreveport.

Southern Maid Donut shops owned by the Jones family popped up in other locations around town, but the perennial location is now on Hearne Avenue. Sitting between Texas Street and the eyesore that is Interstate 20, this store is located just a block from the hospital and near Shreveport's own Fair Park, a convenient location when the doughnut munchies hit in the evening. It has become a true gathering place for locals and tourists alike.

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