Donuts—or doughnuts, if you prefer—have been around in some form or another for so long that, according to Smithsonian magazine, archaeologists have found “fossilized bits” of something closely resembling doughnuts in prehistoric Native American settlements. However, in their long and illustrious and deliciously fried history, some donut shops have proven themselves to be better than others. Case in point, Shreveport’s Southern Maid Donuts.
As the Great Depression finally loosened its grip on the South, a young Louisiana couple looked around their town and decided that what Shreveport needed was a great donut shop. So that couple, Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Hargrove, did just that. They created their own donut recipe with the best ingredients around and opened the doors of Southern Maid Donuts in 1937. The Hargrove family has been frying up batches of those delicious sweet treats ever since.
While there are plenty of donut shops in the South, donut lovers know that they can always count on Southern Maid if they are looking for a perfectly glazed donut to pair with their coffee, need a box of apple fritters to make a splash at the office, or have a hankering for a dozen donut holes or two. Those in the know understand that if they want a truly special treat they need to get to Southern Maid in time to get a piping hot one straight out of the fryer for a real melt-in-your-mouth treat.
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Over the years, Southern Maid has become so popular that people started hankering not only for their donuts, but to open their own Southern Maid franchises, too. Today, according to the company’s website, Southern Maid’s name is used in over 100 stores.
It’s not just their holes, twists, fritters, and éclairs that have helped Southern Maid gain a national reputation, though. They also lay claim to a very important piece of fame: Elvis Presley, The King himself, recorded a song for Southern Maid Donuts back in 1954. After trying their donuts as part of the Louisiana Hayride that they sponsored, Elvis happily sang their jingle. “You can get ‘em piping hot after 4 p.m., you can get ‘em piping hot. Southern Maid Donuts hit the spot, you can get ‘em piping hot after 4 p.m.,” he crooned. That turned out to be the only commercial that Elvis ever made and he reportedly did it, not for the money, but for the love of those donuts—he was reportedly paid for the work with nothing but a box of hot glazed donuts. Elvis wasn’t alone in his love of the treats—Minnie Pearl, Johnny Horton, and Johnny Cash all sang the jingle, too. The King and The Man in Black can’t possibly be wrong.