For those of you who are natives of the Huntsville/ Madison area, The Donut Hole is a well known and beloved family-owned doughnut shop. This is their story…….
David Green El lived in Philadelphia and was offered the opportunity of being the first black executive to run GE here in Huntsville so he and his wife Marie packed up and soon began calling Huntsville, Alabama home. It would be just shortly after their move that their three children Halima LaRoda, Amina Green and Mark Green would make their way to Huntsville also, leaving Philadelphia behind.
Marie decided that she wanted to open a bakery and serve doughnuts and show us Alabamians what a real Philly Cheesesteak was so in 1985 The Donut Hole opened its doors. It was originally situated on Old Madison Pike where it served many over the course of their 20 plus years in business. Marie’s son, Mark, was the mastermind who developed the base recipe for their delicious creations. Marie poured her heart and soul into this place and made everyone feel as if they were a member of her own family.
She knew how guests took their coffee and also what doughnut was their favorite. She knew each one by name and about the ins and outs of their lives. She offered her warm and loving smile to all who entered. Over the years the business sold millions of doughnuts and sandwiches and was even the place that David and Marie’s grandchildren would grow up working over the summers while visiting Pop-Pop and Nana. If you were in the family then you had some hand in working at the shop, whether it was running the register or sweeping the floors after a long day.
This was a way of life for the Green El family and Huntsville reaped the benefits of this iconic doughnut shop. Once work became too hard for Marie, her children began running the business but then life happened and soon it was decided that the shop would close in 2005. As fate would have it, though, The Donut Hole would be brought back to life 11 years later and this time it would be David and Marie’s grands that would be the ones who would breathe new life into the shop. Funny how things come full circle! Fate definitely orchestrated this process as things just seemed to fall right into place.
The Donut Hole reopened just last August 2016 and David and Marie’s grandchildren, Teneshia LaRoda, Alimah Green, Mark Green Jr. and a close family friend, Nicole Boonin, all co-own the business. They wanted to maintain the same integrity that the shop offered it’s patrons back when Nana was the one in charge and they feel that she is looking down on them with great approval. I never had the privilege of knowing Nana because sadly she passed away January 7, 2013 but I did get the chance to meet her daughter Halima and two of the four co-owners and I can tell that Nana had to be one great woman who left an amazing legacy behind.
Now that I have shared “Who” The Donut Hole is, let me tell you “What” The Donut Hole is. This is a fantastic little shop that creates some very unique and delicious pastries as well as sandwiches and street dogs. They have a menu of their beloved regular doughnuts such as Sea Salt and Caramel, Spiced-Candied Bacon, Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles, Red Velvet and Philly Cream Cheese but they also create a one of a kind signature doughnut that they feature a week at a time and trust me when I say they are nothing short of sensational!
Being natives of Philadelphia, they like to pay homage to their roots by offering cheesesteak sandwiches that are the real deal!! The North, The South and The Chick’n. All I can say about them is WOW!! There is much debate about the way cheesesteaks are made in North and South Philly and I can say with absolute certainty that we are Team North Philly all the way!!
The shop also carries street dogs that don the names of well-known streets in Philly such as Wild Wood, Lancaster Ave, German Town, South Street, City Line Ave and Girard Ave. These dogs are out of this world with toppings like chili, cheese wiz, onions, jalapenos, housemade coleslaw, relish, and sauerkraut. The shop carries the most delectable bread, Amoroso’s, that they have shipped straight from Philly to create the most amazing hot and cold hoagies and they serve Herr’s chips, another Philly staple.
Your mouth will water at the very sight of their scrumptious menu. The Donut Hole is a wonderful, family-owned shop that takes pride in the service they offer and the quality of food that they prepare daily. Oh, and they cater too! Go see Lachelle, one of their precious employees, and tell her Grub and Love sent you there and see if you are Team North or Team South and let her fix you up a box filled with some of the best doughnuts you have ever tasted!