Photo courtesy of Madsen Donuts.

There’s a new doughnut shop in town that has 83 years of history behind it.

Madsen Donuts, an institution in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio, now has a location at 3609 Library Road in Castle Shannon.

Mt. Lebanon resident Brian Peltz has been visiting the resort town with his family since 1964. Over the decades he’s devoured hundreds of Madsen’s signature sweets. When he learned the beloved mom-and-pop company was looking to franchise, he had to bite on the opportunity.

“We brought this wonderful product to Pittsburgh so people don’t have to drive three hours to get it,” he says.

Peltz and his wife, Milica, opened their branch of the business on Aug. 9 at 6 a.m. In just three hours they were sold-out of doughnuts.

What makes the treats so irresistible?

Black-and-gold sprinkles adorn doughnuts on Steeler Sundays. Photo courtesy of Madsen Donuts.

Founder Carl Madsen spent years perfecting his recipes for 12 varieties of traditional cake and raised doughnuts. They’re made from scratch each day without preservatives. No one’s deviated from the original, high-quality ingredients since 1938, even after the Ohio shop was sold to the Biery family in 1974.

They, in turn, passed the secrets on to Brian and Milica Peltz, along with some old photographs, trademark blue and white mugs and tie-dye shirts that employees wear and patrons can buy.

Cream sticks are a fan favorite. The chocolate-topped, raised dough is filled with homemade marshmallow-based cream. There are also jelly sticks and cinnamon sticks and doughnuts covered in everything from sprinkles and powdered sugar to chopped peanuts.

Customers can wash down the confections with a cup of coffee. Madsen Donuts carries a specialty blend from Nicholas Coffee & Tea Co. in Market Square.  The shop carries Turner’s beverages, too.

The Peltz’s start preparing the day’s dough at 3:30 a.m. The storefront in Shannon Square operates Wednesday through Monday. Weekday hours are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Weekends they’re open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you’re a late sleeper, you might want to call ahead first to see if there are any goodies left.

The work schedule is a change of pace for Brian and Milica Peltz, who left careers in the airline industry and nursing, respectfully, to carry on the Madsen tradition in Pittsburgh.

Seeing smiling faces and hearing people’s Geneva-on-the-Lake memories make the early mornings worth it.

“We want to maintain the integrity of the family name and the family product,” Brian Peltz says. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel … or the doughnut.”

Kristy Locklin

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.