CHARDON, Ohio — Alissa Hogue knows her doughnuts.
“My personal favorite is maple custard,” she said.
She said there are no doughnuts that taste quite like Maggie’s Doughnuts.
“From the beginning to the end, they’re made fresh every single day. I mean what other doughnut shop does that?” she asked.
It’s a recipe that has a rich history in Northeast Ohio.
“Maggie’s has been around since 1959. It started on Noble Road in Cleveland and then moved to Middlefield,” said Bill Poole, the franchise owner.
There are now several different locations around Geauga and Lake counties.
But Hogue has a history with Maggie’s, too. Poole, the franchise owner, is her step-dad.
“Alissa grew up in the doughnut shop from a very young age, around 5 or 6 years old. She has hands-on experience,” said Poole.
She started working at the Middlefield location when she was just 14-years-old.
“I’ve done the driving. I’ve worked the counter, dealing with the customers. I’ve frosted, I’ve filled, I’ve glazed the doughnuts, I’ve done the back office, like payroll,” she said.
Poole said he’s always been proud of her work ethic.
“You grow up in a family business, you learn what has to be done and there’s no maybe later, maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day or get someone else to do it, it’s no, you have to do it, and she’s been that go-to for me,” he said.
Hogue said she worked at the shop, simply, as a way for her to save for the future. She had plans to study nursing in college, and throughout high school, she took college courses at Lakeland Community College.
“I started looking at colleges in 7th grade,” she said.
But when COVID-19 changed the way students learned, it also changed her plans.
“Being online for classes, especially college classes, was horrible. I’m going to be honest, it was horrible,” said Hogue.
At just 18-years-old, she used her savings to purchase and open up the newest Maggie’s Doughnuts franchise location at 301 Center Street in Chardon.
“I am really excited to be in Chardon. Everyone has been so kind and so welcoming,” said Hogue. “I definitely believe everything happens for a reason.”
Poole said he opened his first franchise location at just 23-years-old, but Hogue is the youngest franchisee the company has ever had.
“She beat my record,” he joked.
But said he is confident that she has the recipe to make the newest location a success.
“When she turned 18 here and graduated from high school, we weren’t quite sure what her future endeavors were going to be. This opportunity came up and I feel she’s ready,” he said. “She always gives 100%.”
Chardon’s Maggie’s Doughnuts is open Tuesday-Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.