By Gwen Sisson
For Steve and Ann Trice, it’s all about love, family – and as they say, “who doesn’t love doughnuts!”
On May 1, Sugarland Donuts and More in Eupora will celebrate its first year in business, and the Trices are enjoying every minute of their stress-free retirement adventure.
It was over a year ago when the Trices made the move to begin to make their retirement business dreams come true. Steve has worked for Southeastern Timber Co. in Ackerman for 38 years as a millwright/supervisor. Ann worked at Garan Inc. in Starkville for 22 years, as a costing analyst/supervisor.
“My husband and I both worked at jobs that were very stressful,” Ann said. “We decided we wanted to lessen the stress load at this time in our lives.”
Their son, Douglas Andrew Trice, manages a doughnut shop in Starkville. He loves his job and said it was a great atmosphere to be in each day. The family discussed the possibilities and began buying a few pieces of equipment.
“It seems like God provided for us because if we needed something, we always managed to find it,” Ann Trice said.
They practiced making doughnuts at home and allowed family, friends and co-workers serve as their “guinea pigs” — which they all loved, according to Ann — while they perfected their proprietary recipe. When they found a recipe that was both great tasting and satisfying, they began the process of creating a business model to develop efficient ways to make great-tasting doughnuts.
“Sugarland was something we looked forward to retiring to, and pass on to our kids and grandkids one day,” Ann said. “We have enjoyed having the business, greeting our customers every day and always looking forward to need faces. Eupora is a very friendly town with a lot of nice people. It ahs and is a pleasure to be here and getting the support from the community and the neighboring counties. Without everyone’s support, there would be no Sugarland.”
Their proprietary doughnut bread recipe and the friendly staff have made Sugarland Donuts and More one of Eupora’s most talked-about new businesses.
Mayor, Dan Burchfield said Sugarland Donuts and More has been a “wonderful addition to our business community.”
“Being the only doughnut shop and bakery in town has been a real asset,” Burchfield said. “Along with their breakfast and lunch sandwiches, they are a full-service eatery. We are very fortunate to have them here!”
At Sugarland Donuts and More, everything is made fresh daily. They also make their own icings and fillings.
The doughnut line features glazed, chocolate, caramel, maple, cream cheese, sugar and cinnamon, chocolate and white sprinkles. Their filled-doughnuts line includes chocolate, white cream, lemon, cherry, apple, strawberry, blueberry and Bavarian Cream. They have old-fashioned cake and blueberry cake doughnuts.
Their pastry line includes cinnamon rolls, cinnamon twists, Éclairs filled with chocolate, Bavarian or white cream, Maple Éclairs, apple fritters, cream cheese danish, as well as chocolate, blueberry and pumpkin muffins.
Their sausage rolls are made with smoked linked sausage with American cheese wrapped in their homemade doughnut bread. They also feature sausage and biscuits each day.
Customers love the variety of fresh doughnuts and pastries, as well as the friendly service.
“I love the cream-filled doughnuts,” said Becky Oliver. “I also think the couple that own it are super nice every time you go in!”
“We’ve tried them all and they are all great,” said Hannah Hill. “The owners are wonderful people. We just love them.”
Leslie Frank had three important points that make her a fan of Sugarland Donuts and More.
“Number one, they are local,” Frank said. “No more driving to Starkville to get doughnuts for my school kids or my own children. Number two, they are affordable! You can’t always shop here in town and get Starkville prices. Number three, they’re delicious! I would put them against Shipley’s any day of the week and twice on Sunday, well, if they were open on Sunday! I love the caramel. My oldest want the pudding-filled Long John. My little loves the sprinkle doughnuts and the middle (child) eats whichever doesn’t eat him first!”
Stephanie Smith said her daughter Hannah loves the chocolate-covered doughnuts with sprinkles, and her youngest daughter typically buys doughnut holes.
“I loved the ones they make for special occasions, like the awesome ones they made for Valentine’s Day,” Smith said. “I am partial to the cinnamon buns and apple fritters, but I try to resist them because I’m pretty sure I would love all of them! Also, they are super sweet there every time you go, and they are willing to go out of their way to make something different for you if they can.”
Rachel Barnett loves the blueberry cake doughnuts and likes that they have “Local friendly service.” Paula Rumore said their bacon-maple doughnuts are “Mmm, mmm good!”
Betty Trice said she loves them all because the food is fresh, and she loves the owners like family, because they are her in-laws.
Joy Knight said she has never bought any (doughnuts or pastries) that “weren’t delicious.”
“I love this place and the people are so nice,” Knight said.
Pamela Laney agrees. “They are nice people and their doughnuts are amazing!”
Randee Jernigan said she loves the consistent variety.
“I love the apple-filled doughnuts and sausage rolls,” Jernigan said. “Loralee loves the chocolate-covered and Cliff likes the doughnut holes. Also, the couple that owns it and their staff are super friendly! Love the Doughnut Shop!”
Jernigan’s mom, Becky Johnson said she loves having the doughnut shop so close by and that her family loves the store.
“I thrilled that Randee loves them, because she will usually share a cream-filled with me” Johnson said.
Linda Kitchens said her grandson wants the glazed and chocolate covered doughnuts every time they pass by.
Sue Salley loves the vanilla cream-filled doughnuts, while Beth Collum says the cinnamon rolls are the best!
Cala Tabb said she loves the smoked sausage rolls and sweet potato muffins, while Katie Johnson said she loves the doughnut holes.
As Tammy Bright said, “who can pick just one (favorite)?”
Katie Sisk said loves that the doughnuts are always light and airy, not “super dense and heavy.”
“I also like that I can go through the drive-thru on my way out of town when I don’t have anything for breakfast,” Sisk said. “Also, everything is super affordable. My favorite is the cream cheese iced doughnuts.”
Leah Herard said her oldest daughter loves the caramel doughnuts, while her youngest loves the doughnut holes.
“The caramel frappacino is amazing,” Herard said. “In my opinion, better than Starbucks.”
The coffee is fresh brewed each day and they feature six varieties including: regular and decaffeinated, Columbian, Dark Dakota, French Vanilla and Hazelnut Caramel. They also have an Espresso machine comparable to some of the larger coffee shops. They make create Espresso shots, lattes, frappes and cappuccinos. They also have hot chocolate and fresh lemonade.
A new product for Sugarland is the doughnut cake, a large doughnut that can be filled and topped with your favorite icing and sprinkles. All doughnut cakes must be ordered in advance.
The Trices have a few ideas for expansion this summer, but customers will have to wait to see what’s next for Sugarland. They are also quick to note that they appreciate their hard-working staff, including head chef Marsha Smith, who has 20-plus years of experience, and Robert Prado, who also has many years of experience in baking. Paige Smith works as a part-time cashier and “helps with whatever she is asked to do.”
“It is long hours and hard work, but worth the rewards,” said Ann Trice.
The store also features free Wi-Fi, cable television, a dining area and lounge.
“Please come in a enjoy a cup of coffee, read a book, browse the Internet or simply just relax and enjoy the atmosphere,” Trice said.
Sugarland Donuts and More is located at 47 Gwenn Ray Drive (next to Piggly Wiggly) in Eupora. For more information or to place an advance order, call 258-3799.