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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

< Back to Oral History project: Southern Maid Donuts

ORAL HISTORY

Bill Hoffoss


Hamburger Happiness

Bill Hoffoss was born in 1951 in Minden, Louisiana. Hoffoss learned how to make Southern Maid donuts in 1969. He and his brother began making them at Hamburger Happiness, a business his father opened in 1953 in partnership with Bruce Jones on Sibley Road in Minden. He has cooked Southern Maid donuts at Hamburger Happiness locations in Minden and Dixie Inn ever since. Over the years, Bill worked with multiple generations of the Jones family, including Bruce’s son, Johnny, and grandson, Mike.

Bill recalls the original fifteen-pound bags of flour that were mixed with water and yeast to make dough; a regular flour that needed an addition of powdered milk and a premium flour that already contained it. It took two hours to mix, proof, roll, cut, fry, and glaze the donuts. Hoffoss’s apple pies and cinnamon rolls are made from the picked out centers of the house-made donuts. In the beginning, donuts cost seventy-four cents for a dozen. Gradual inflation over the years, along with the rising production and food supply costs during the COVID-19 pandemic, increased his prices. In 2022, Hoffoss sells a box of donuts  for about $7.99.

Date of interview:
2022-02-16

Interviewer:
Dr. Jaime Cantrell

Photographer:
Shannon Palmer

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