November 25, 2020
By Joseph L. Murphy, Iowa Soybean Association
Our "Pictures of the Week" take us to Nevada, where life's simple pleasures mix in perfect harmony with great taste. In October, Paula Feltner and her husband Mike opened Bricktown Bakery to share her love of donuts. Since opening, they have garnered a dedicated customer base in Nevada and other central Iowa communities.
"When you say donuts, people smile," Paula says while looking at the large selection of donuts on the wooden display counter. "They make people happy and they bring back memories of sharing with others."
She has fond memories of sharing glazed Pinecone donuts with her grandfather in Oregon, where she grew up.
"My grandpa's favorite donut is old fashioned. We would always have donuts together," she says. “I consider myself a donut snob. I've loved donuts all my life."
That passion for flour, eggs, baker's yeast and sugar led her to open Bricktown Bakery. It also filled a bakery void in Nevada that had been missing for 18 years.
"It started as a donut dream and turned into a little bit more," she says as customers enter and exit the store. "Nevada is an up-and-coming community 10 miles from Ames and it is a ‘Main Street’ community, so it is trying to cultivate small businesses."
A team of 14 employees keeps the bakery running around the clock. The night shift prepares the donuts while the day shift focuses on the retail sales and baking pies and other items. They like to keep it simple at the bakery… offering simple coffee, simple ice cream, simple bakery goods and simple donuts with a new twist.
"The pies are handcrafted. It's a lost art that people want but they don't necessarily know how or don't want to take the time to do it," Paula says.
The pandemic has impacted the way they do business. Still, Paula says that they have taken sanitation precautions, installed social distancing markers and implemented mask precautions to make it as safe as possible.
"The online ordering has become super popular," she says. "People lay in bed and order their donuts the night before and walk in and pick them up. They like it because they can get exactly what they want before we start selling to other customers."
On a typical Saturday, Bricktown Bakery will sell about 2,500 donuts ranging from long johns to bismarcks to old-fashioned cake donuts.
"People need something good. It has been very well received," she says. "Many Saturdays there's a line out the door and down the sidewalk."
During the holiday season, the bakery offers a pie of the month club. Paula hopes it will be the perfect gift for the person who has everything. Those who subscribe to the service will receive a seasonal pie monthly that can be picked up at the store.