The Best Taste in the State
Nothing is more perfect than a donut. Its symmetry is pleasing to the eye, the crackled glaze melts in your mouth and no matter the time of day, its fried goodness offers that certain pick-me-up. Thankfully, JR’s Donut Castle in Parkersburg is serving up what Business Insider and MSN call the best pastries in the state of West Virginia.
Offering over 30 types of donuts, JR’s is a family business that actually has its beginnings in 1973. That is the year J.R. Parsons began work at the Donut Castle and met his wife, Darlene. Together, they bought the establishment in 1977 changing the name to JR’s Donut Castle.
“As a child, I always remember stopping in to visit J.R. in the shop. This place was his life – he loved the customers and the customers loved him. Everything he did, all of his hard work, was for the people in this community and making them happy,” manager Aaron Parsons said.
Aaron is the son of J.R. and continues the family traditions of his father. Beginning work at the age of 10, Aaron knows a thing or two about the bakery, rolling the famous pepperoni buns and making sure every customer takes a bite out of freshness.
“It is amazing for me to continue the legacy of my dad. He made sure everything was consistent and quality driven, and now I get to do the same. We never change the recipes, and we are faithful in serving our customers,” Aaron said.
JR’s lives by the “Baked Fresh Daily” motto. Every day, employees make Apple Fritters, Maple Cream Fills and the traditional Glazed donuts (just to name a few) from scratch. One product they cannot keep on the shelf long enough is the Yum-Yum. The name says it all!
Sweet treats are not the only yummy things that keep patrons coming back. The pepperoni roll is so good that it has made an international tour.
“J.R. was the first one to bring the pepperoni roll to Parkersburg. Over the years, more businesses asked if they could sell them as well. Recently, we have shipped the baked good to Hawaii and Istanbul,” Aaron said.
Most of the time, parents in the Mid-Ohio Valley ask for pepperoni roll packages to be sent to their children serving on various military bases. Besides overseas deliveries, JR’s has three trucks that supply local churches, hospital and schools, to which the supplies mainly go towards these organizations for fundraisers.
Because of its delectable pastries, savory recipes and service to the community, this shop has made a long lasting impact on area residents.
“Just as I learned the traditions of my dad’s shop, I get to see other families making traditions by coming through our doors. Just a month ago, we had a grandfather, father and son sit at the counter. They told us every time they come into town, they have to get together for some JR’s,” Aaron said.
JR’s Donut Castle is located on 3318 Emerson Avenue in Parkersburg. For more information or to make an order, call 304-428-9097.
Rebecca is a Mineral Wells native attending WVU Parkersburg. By studying public relations, she hopes to one day use her skills to benefit non-profit organizations in the Mid-Ohio Valley. Even though Rebecca loves the written word, she has a passion for history. You can find her digging through postcards at any antique store or giving tours at The Castle of Marietta.
Photos courtesy of JR’s Donut Castle