Terry and Melody's Daylight Donut Shop is celebrating over 30 years of making donuts for the people of Winfield and Cowley County. The Kruegers began their business in June 1979, two weeks after Melody graduated from Emporia University. Terry had completed the Manager's Training Program with Wal-Mart in Pittsburg after graduating from Emporia University a year earlier. Melody's major was in home economics and psychology in secondary education. Terry's major was business and economics. Both agree their degrees served them well in operating their business.
The Kruegers opened their first donut shop at the corner of Main and Eleventh Street.
"We learned a lot while our business was at that location", Melody Krueger states, "We learned how to make the best donuts, dealing with the public with the warmth of home, and how to work the horrible hours that goes along with the donut business."
The Kruegers still start their day between 2 and 3 a.m. and work until early afternoons.
"Sometimes, Terry and I will be there all day, which has made raising a family difficult at times,” said Melody. According to Melody, their daughter Amanda was born while they were still at their first location, and they took her to work with them each day. “She got to be too big to have here when she could start getting around in her walker and pulled a whole tray of freshly made filled bismarks off onto the floor," Melody said.
Later, at the new location, Amanda worked with her parents many years, even filling in when her mother had emergency surgery and Amanda was still in high school. Amanda later graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in English. She currently works in real estate finance.
Shortly before opening the new store at 910 Main, where the shop is still located today, the Kruegers had their son, Keegan.
As they were remodeling the store to reopen, Keegan (in a walker) rolled over to the five gallon bucket of linoleum glue and ate a huge fist full.
"He survived," Melody laughed, "after several calls to Poison Control and convincing them he really DID eat it."
Keegan also worked for the Kruegers, frying donuts and making deliveries to Augusta and Douglass. Keegan now works for Quik Trip Corporation in the commissary area, producing sandwiches for their personal line.
What most people do not realize, is the Kruegers start so early because they deliver to seven convenience stores in Winfield and other towns.
“We have to get those made first and to the stores to be able to sell to people on their way to work,” said Melody. Then products are made for the Drive Thru location at 16th and Main (inside Holiday Laundry), and finally donuts and rolls are made for their main shop at 910 Main.
“ It takes a lot of push to get up so early and then get most of our work done before we even open out front,” Melody said.
The Kruegers produce over 18 varieties of donuts and rolls daily, with specials most days of the week. Specials include Apple Fritters on Monday, homemade Cranberry Nut Muffins on Wednesday, Melody's Famous Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies on Thursday, and the luscious German Chocolate cake donuts on Fridays.
“I’ve had many customers, and employees through the years beg me for my cookie recipe, but actually 3/4 of it is in my head, and I love to improve it and tweak it regularly,” Melody added.
Melody and Terry have always tried to keep up with the latest in the donut business, and strive to keep products as health-minded as possible. They use the more expensive cholesterol free flour base for their donuts and use a special shortening that is also more expensive.
“We believe the product has a better flavor and is healthier, so we don't mind the expense,” Melody said. “We have some customers from far away states that are so excited to get back in Winfield and enjoy our donuts and rolls. Others take boxes of their favorites with them on trips to visit their children who beg them to bring our donuts with them; it reminds them of home.”
Melody stated they have really enjoyed the various customers through the years.
“Terry never met anybody he couldn't talk to about anything, and we've both loved getting to know all of them,” said Melody. “So many of our customers have started out coming in with their parents when they are little, or after the swim team practices growing up. We've watched them graduate from high school, get married, and have kids of their own. We love starting a new tradition with each new generation. Terry and I have many children that are as much a part of our family as our own kids, and we love it when they come back to visit.”
Some memorable customers at the donut shop through the years include the actor from the movie "Hoosiers" that stopped by, and J.J. Banks, David "Bud" Weisser, Carlton Ward, Carl Dix, Wally Keith, Dick Collier, Greta Goodwin, Judy Showalter, Bob Kitch, Brad and John Light, Virginia Cline, Jane Duncan, Ned Graham, H.T. Hittle, Fritz Barnard, Dick Pierce, Les Hogue, Charles and Caroline Verbeck, Bill and Nancy Drennan, Dave Seaton, Chet Daniels, Hope McPherson, Larry Ruud, Bonnie Robinson, Bill Taylor, Bill Powers, Howard Buffum, Wayne Rush, Maxine and Bob Tredway, Alan Rush, and Roger Lungren just to name a few of the regulars.
Terry and Melody's Daylight Donuts is open Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. to noon.