The doughnuts aren’t perfect circles or perfectly formed.
It's traditional recipes, not looks, that make Othelia's Doughnuts in Mason City special to owners Amy Peckham and Tiffany Mussman.
“We’re not about the bells and whistles,” Mussman said. “They’re kind of funky looking but we hand roll them all.”
Mussman and Peckham hand roll and deep fry each of their doughnuts.
“To me, the definition of a doughnut is that it’s a fried cake,” Mussman said. “We’re not baking these, we’re frying them.”
They currently make and fill orders in Mussman’s home kitchen.
“The secret is our dough,” Peckham said.
They make the doughnuts with no additives, no preservatives and have begun to offer gluten-free doughnuts as well.
Mussman and Peckham named the “shop” after Peckham’s grandmother Othelia.
“It sort of signifies who we are and that’s ‘tradition’ and the ‘O’ is for the doughnut,” Mussman said. “It’s a perfect name. Our hope is to keep everything traditional.”
The slogan for the shop is “As traditional as your Grandmother.”
“We’re healthy people; you can eat a doughnut a day and be just fine,” Peckham said. “I do and I’m a triathlete.”
The pair met at church and began a childcare business together. Now, they want to phase out of that business and focus on fried, doughy treats.
“We started about a month ago but we’ve been kinda working on it for about eight months or so,” Mussman said. “We gathered up all of our old family cookbooks and started cherry picking what we wanted.”
They took the old recipes and made them their own, Peckham said. The pair had a two-year plan until they recently started testing their recipes.
“We started making them, the parents of the kids we watch were eating them and were like, 'um, we need to buy these,'" Mussman said. “Seriously, within two weeks, we were taking orders. It blew up.”
Othelia’s launched their Facebook page in June and now take online orders.
It started with boxes of prototypes going out to members of their church. From there, they received feedback and tweaked recipes.
Peckham said baking and cooking is how she loves people.
“It’s how we can serve people in a different way,” Mussman said. “Mason City needs a doughnut shop.”
They are hoping to be mobile within a year with either a food truck or a storefront.
“My dream has always been to have a food truck,” Mussman said.
Othelia’s Doughnuts offers flavors like raised-glazed doughnuts, maple, chocolate cake, vanilla cake, cherry, blueberry, apple cinnamon and more.
“We’re licensed now so we’re really hoping to do Thursday’s on Main, farmers markets, Friday Night Live,” Peckham said.
They both love Mason City and hope to spread the happiness a doughnut can bring, Mussman said.
“We’re not afraid to fail,” Mussman said. “We’ll put our heart into it and if it fails, we’ll move on.”