Post by Ricky_Berkey on Apr 19, 2007 19:26:40 GMT -5
from The Republic April 17th, 2007 please buy and read our local paper!
Sap’s yeast doughnut no longer produced By Harry McCawley firstname.lastname@example.org
Production and sale of Sap’s Donuts has been halted at the Dolly Madison plant in Columbus, closing the last connection to a bakery started by a Columbus man and made into a national trademark.
A representative of Interstate the Dolly Madison plant, confirmed that production of the popular doughnuts was halted Monday. The plant will continue production of other Dolly Madison products but has halted the process for the yeast doughnuts that were first developed by Philip R. “Sap” Essex and later promoted as the “world’s best-selling donut.” The representative said she was not authorized to go into detail about the decision and could not say whether it would have a wider impact on personnel or production capacity. She forwarded questions about those and other subjects to officials at corporate headquarters. The move caught local residents by surprise, including Tom Essex, who worked alongside his brother throughout the history of the company. “Actually, I was expecting something much worse,” he said Monday when told of the decision. “The corporation has been going through some tough times in recent years.” The yeast doughnuts were a Columbus institution because of their taste and the aroma exuded during peak production. They also gave the business the name so many residents still associate with the National Road plant, “Sap’s Donuts.” It began as a small bakery on Washington Street in downtown Columbus in 1948. The bakery became so popular that the Essex brothers recognized an expansion was too much for the downtown location and built a plant on National Road in 1960. As the company grew, so did its payroll. Eventually, the company’s work force reached 600. It also attracted the interest of others in the industry. In 1972, Sap’s Foods merged with Beatrice Foods. Seven years later the business was purchased by Interstate Brands, which promptly renamed the local plant for Dolly Madison, dropping the connection to Sap’s Donuts.
Post by Ricky_Berkey on Apr 19, 2007 19:32:32 GMT -5
from The Republic April 17th, 2007 please buy and read our local paper!
Sweet smell of Sap’s fades into community’s memories by Harry McCawley
COLUMBUS has a different smell today. They’ve stopped making Saps Donuts.
Most Columbus odors are the kind we’d be happy would go away. Actually, they’re so bad they’ve probably sent quite a few people away. We’ve had sausage-making smells, rendering-plant smells, city dump smells, canning factory smells, tannery smells, foundry smells, pig-slop smells and cow-manure smells. But while those were bad smells, the smell of making Sap’s Donuts was pure heaven. You got a whiff of it only in the area around the National Road location of Dolly Madison — which in many Columbus minds is still Sap’s Bakery — and that was during the time of day when they were actually making Sap’s Donuts. They make many other sweet things out at the bakery but none of them could match the aroma of the yeast donut — the last product to bear the Sap’s name. There was a time when the bakery was all Sap’s. That was before the home-grown business — billed as the largest doughnut maker in the country — was merged with Beatrice Foods in 1972. In 1979 the business was purchased by Interstate Brands. Shortly thereafter, the name of the plant was changed to Dolly Madison. Even with the new name there was still the unmistakable stamp that only the company founder — Sap Essex — could put on it. For several years several sweet rolls carried the Sap’s name. With the passage of time, those too took on other names or just disappeared from the inventory. There are a lot more serious things at stake than the dropping of a product line or the disappearance of a familiar brand. The bakery is a business — always has been, no matter who owned it — and the fate of jobs hinges on decisions related to bottom-line statements. But in the case of Sap’s Donuts and Columbus, it’s just darn near impossible to take the personal out of any change. A lot of that personal came from the man who started the whole thing back in 1948 when he took over a small bakery on Washington Street. Known as Sap His real name was Philip R. Essex but from childhood early in the 20th century he was known simply as “Sap.” The bakery at Fifth and Washington proved successful from the start. It kept growing until he and his brother Tom decided to move their operations to National Road where it eventually became much more than a bakery. It also was one of the city’s leading employers with as many as 600 workers at one point. Sap did a lot more than run a business from behind his desk. He took a special and personal interest in his employees. One of his innovations was to establish a full-service plant cafeteria and give his worker a break on the cost of meals. Often he would go to the cafeteria and prepare dishes. He developed unique formulas for his products. One thing he was adamant about was the name Sap‘s Donuts. It’s spelled with a “dough” in a lot of dictionaries and The Associated Press stylebook, but Sap was determined that if they were to bear his name they should always be Donuts. I don’t know what a lot of people who had grown up on Sap’s Donuts are going to do now that they’re no longer being offered. Saturday morning soccer games and flag football contests won’t be the same for parents who munched on them while watching their kids. But the thing that I and a whole bunch of others will miss is the smell of Sap’s Donuts being made.
Harry McCawley is associate editor of The Republic. He can be reached by phone at 379-5620 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
When Sap bought the bakery on Washington St., it was located the 2nd. door south of 6th. St. on the east side of Washington St. I was delivering the Evening Republican paper, now the Republic, it was located on the corner of 5th. and Franklin St. at that time. On Saturday the paper came out early afternoon, so while there getting our papers some of the carriers would walk up the alley and go in the back door of Sap's and buy donuts. The donuts at that time where hand made , and where much larger and a lot more tasteful. They sold for 5 cents or 50 cents a dozen. Sap soon out grew that location and moved the bakery to 12th and Jackson St, he was at that location until he relocated on National Rd.
Saps Building on 12th & Jackson Street Had Big Fire In the 1950s
I don't remember the exact year but the fire closed down production for a while. I remember it well because my mother worked down the street behind the Coke plant at Bixler Lumber Company. I know you remember that as well as others.
That fire at Sap's in 1953 sounds about right. I remember riding in the car with my father to pick my mother up at Bixler's Lumber Company. The smoke smell was everywhere on Jackson and down toward the back of the Coke Plant. It seems that Sap Essex didn't take long to get the production back up after makeshift repairs. I do recall that they had a fire sale of saved pastries and of course the famous donuts.
I guess Sap Essex realized from 1953 to 1960 it was time to move on to bigger buildings and expanded business. His donuts were served all over the state it seemed, after moving to national or US 31 areas.
One of my fondest memories of growing up in Columbus was my dad driving us down the alley, behind Sap's Bakery, at night and my cousin who worked in the bakery would run us out some hot, fresh donuts! Man I can almost taste and smell them right now. I can tell you that having lived all over this country and overseas too, I never ate a better donut than those Sap Essex made right here in "our small town"!
We didn't have a lot of money,( school teachers were not paid very much...still aren't for that matter) but we could afford a few donuts from time to time and those were sure "ummmmm good"!!
Sorry to hear these donuts are no longer going to be made any longer.
Saps was the best donuts in the world and no other yeats donut has ever came close to the flacky white yeast donuts so fresh and the smell was so good. I would stop at Saps when I could get back home from SC as one of the treats only found in Columbus and now we have lost one of the worlds greatest treats never to be matched again I would bet. Sammys coney stand in east columbus is also another great taste no one can match again that i would eat a half dozen dogs at a time if dad would buy them for me. So many special things in Columbus are gone forever and it makes me so sad to think about it all as my mom and dad are also gone as well as many nieghbors and friends. I miss the times had growing up there and had no idea how much i took for granted til now. My wife is starting a donut business here in Myrtle Beach and Saps really hits home doing this. mb2foru at aol
Am requiring about subject on postcards found in Florida from Edith Brumfield.She was my great aunt and married my great uncle John Ford who was a minister.Is there anyway i can find out more information. My email address firstname.lastname@example.org
A Few Steps Back In Time For Sap's Donut Company 1218 Jackson Street Columbus, Indiana\
Sap Essex started his donut business around 1948 near 6th & Washington Street (second door down). The business grew fast and that location wasn't large enough. He moved the factory and production to 1218 Jackson Street around 1950.
Then in 1953 the factory on Jackson Street had a Hugh fire and this stopped production for some period of time. Later, in the early 1960s (I think) Sap moved to National Road or near U.S. 31 area. Here is a photo of the Jackson Street facility before Sap moved to National Road. The building still stands today.
I remember the fire well because my mother worked about a half block from the building at Bixler Lumber Company Office.
Sources: My recall of locations and events and some of George's previous posted comments. The picture is from Google Street View.
I think I mentioned this once before when someone brought up Sap's donuts. My cousin, Jr. Shultz worked at Sap's and I can recall my dad driving down the alley between Washington and Franklin Streets, my cousin would run out with a bag of donuts and we would head home to eat them. Nothing in the world smelled as good to me as a kid than the smell of those donuts wafting through the doors at the back of that small bakery and in our car as we drove home. This had to have been during or right after WWII I would guess. I know my dad was driving a 35 or 36 Model T Ford.
Just came across this subject thread...quite a trip down memory lane.My dad,Leon Locke,worked at Sap's from around '49 until he retired in the late 70's or early 80's. He started running routes to the neighboring towns, would sell that route to another person,then start another route in different towns. He built a very large part of the distribution network and ultimately took on sales manager and V.P. of sales responsibilities. I remember Sap and brother Tom very well...always very kind and friendly to me as I spent so much time there. RER...that picture of the 6th & Jackson really piqued memories.I remember the fire and going down there with Dad while he helped with clean-up; I was about 6 when that occurred. BABS...how long did your cousin Jr. work Sap's. I think I must have known him;the name sounds very familiar. I worked there through high school and summers home from college. And yes I agree BEST DONUTS I've ever had to this day, and I ate plenty of them. I was probably 2 or 3 when Dad started with Sap so I had lots of access from a very early age. Nice to know others enjoyed them so much; having spent so much of my early years there, I think I feel a bit proprietary...so it goes. Thanks again for prompting the memory banks a bit. gelocke
yes saps had the brst I had ever then and now. It was bad living close by as the smell never went away You were always hungry as the aroma sure got to you.My little ones loved the donut holes they told many kids after we move they ate donut holes and they could not believe until they were told how they ate them.
Sorry, I really couldn't say how long Junior worked there. His full name was Harold Bryce Shultz, Jr. and Junior is all anyone in the family ever called him. He was a few years older than me and my brother and I always looked up to him. He quit school I believe and joined the U.S. Navy when he was quite young (know my great aunt and uncle had to sign for him to get in).
My memories of being in the car, the smell and the wonderful donuts are all just jumbled together with a lot of other things but one doesn't forget tasting the best donuts ever fried. I do know I was quite young or so I think. I've lived all over the states and in Europe too and no one has ever come close to the wonderful taste of Sap's donuts. You can have your Krispy Cremes, Hostess or any other name brand and I will still say Sap's was the best.
My thoughts and recollections about Sap's------------goes to the baked beans that you could get/order for big functions----------like our Saddle Club outings. Know we have, somewhere on the boards, discussed these baked beans----------------know for a fact that my attempt to replicate Sap's baked beans came via Shirley Owens Hollenbeck, oh, so many moons ago and still used today.
My other thought------------and I do NOT know if this was made and purchased from Sap's---but at least somewhere in Columbus--------does anyone else remember 'salt-rising bread?' The taste was wonderful, and the smell a bit strong!!! For a good many years in CA, one could purchase salt-rising bread from Van de Kamps, which I believe is long out of business, and I have never found it elsewhere.
A quick check on the internet, and I did find some recipes, perhaps worth trying, particularly as winter approaches, as a big bowl of vegetable soup and some salt-rising bread would be quite a treat.
New screen name, same me---Nanc, emails should go to "Nanc" as on the members list. Thanks. Have a super day!
I was searching for some information and found this time line of the Sap’s Famous Donut Mill in The Republics archives. While checking Columbus City Directories, I found that in 1957 the address of the bakery was at two locations, 2800 Central Avenue and 301 Twelfth Street. At that time the 525 Washington Street location was Gene’s Bakery and Delicatessen.
The 525 Washington location sat between the Neal Paint and Wall Paper Store at 523 Washington Street and the Goodyear Service Store at 527 Washington Street.
It began as a small bakery on Washington Street in downtown Columbus in 1948.
The products became so much in demand that the Essex brothers, Philip Rex ‘Sap’ and Tom recognized an expansion was needed. The needed acreage wasn’t available at the Twelfth Street location. It was in the late 50's or early 60's that the 2800 Central Avenue property was purchased. That property had a frontage on National Road and an entrance at 2800 Central Avenue as it is today.
As the company expanded so did its payroll. Eventually, the company's work force reached 600.
In 1972, Sap's Foods merged with Beatrice Foods. Seven years later the business was purchased by Interstate Brands, which promptly renamed the local plant for Dolly Madison, dropping the connection to Sap's Donuts.
Over the years
1948: Sap Essex opens a bakery on Fifth and Washington streets.
1960: Company growth forced a move to a newly constructed plant on National Road.
1972: Sap's Foods merged with Beatrice Foods.
1979: Interstate Brands Inc. purchased Beatrice Foods.
1979: Interstate Brands changes the name of Sap's Donuts to Dolly Madison.
1980: Total employment reached 260 in the Columbus plant.
1986: Employment hits 580, making it the seventh largest employer in Columbus. Total sales are reported at $86 million.
2004: Interstate Brands declares bankruptcy, but company officials say that production at Columbus operation would not be affected.
2007: Production of Sap's Donuts at Columbus plant halted.