Meridian, Miss. For over the past 25 years, Chance and Dooley's has been the only place in Meridian to grab the sweet treat, but over the past 6 months, the number of donut shops in Meridian has shot up from one to five. We still have Chance and Dooley's downtown, and you can add to that City Donuts off North Hills Street, Lee's Donuts on Highway 19, Donut Prince on 8th Street, and USA Donuts and Kolaches in the Texaco on the Highway 39 bypass. Chase Keely with Chance and Dooley's says when these new shops opened, they saw a little bit of a dip in business, but now they're bouncing back.
"Our product is unique versus everyone elses'. We make all ours from scratch, so I think we have an edge in that case."
All of the new donut shops also say their donuts are freshly made each morning.
I don't believe there's anything such as a bad donut, but a town this size can only support so many different kinds of donut shops, and all the owners I spoke with say they're not afraid of a little competition.
Lee Phang of Lee's Donuts says, "This is a free market. Everybody can compete and we have great competition so we can make more, better, especially my shop and my donuts."
Sabun Khiev of USA Donuts and Kolaches says, "We have about 4 or 5 of them, so we never care about anyone coming into the town. As long as we keep doing our job doing good cleaning, making a good donut, and having good customer service, that's what's going to bring our customers in, so we don't really care about competition at all."
Keely says, "I think everybody knows that we're here and we've been here for the longest, and I think we'll be all right."
Just how big Meridian's donut boom gets, remains to be seen.