Donuts after dark

Generally speaking, 3 AM sounds like an unpleasant time to be at work.

However, that is not the case for freshman history major Ben Albertson. Ben has had the interesting experience of having worked nights at a donut shop: Paradise Donuts.

“It had just opened up by my house, I went and applied, and when I went and turned it in, the manager asked me if I would be interested in working nights. I needed a job, so I said I’ll take whatever I can get.” said Albertson.

Ben described shifts that entailed coming into work at midnight, and staying until six in the morning. He was in charge of baking all of the donuts required to supply two different shops in Wichita.

On average, he believes they made almost one thousand donuts. Weekends were generally the busiest nights of the week, and Wednesdays would also become very busy, at random.

“It had a drive through, which was kind of a new thing, so people would use that on their way to work.” said Albertson. “I went back and visited, and they’ve hired a bunch of new people.”

At the time, Ben would work with just two other people to make around one thousand donuts. His boss worked with him every night. Ben was what could be considered a “sculptor” of the dough. He would make the appropriate circle shape, run the dough through a machine to get the classic ring, and then send it to the fryer. Specialties like bear claws and long johns were a little bit more complicated.

“You had to put extra ingredients in them, and they took a whole lot longer to make.” said Albertson.

Ben was supposed to use every little bit of dough that he could. After running a regular donut through the machine to stamp out the ring, he would also immediately make donut holes.

“Whatever was left after making everything, you’d put it in a bucket and they’d use it to make sausage rolls, which was just sausage rolled up in donut dough and baked.”

Albertson’s job also had a few perks he enjoyed.

“Whenever there was a mess up – they called them a ‘blooper’ – whenever there were bloopers they were free, anyone could have them.”

Ben’s favorite donut at Paradise Donuts was a blueberry cake donut with a crumble cake topping and glaze, which he often hoped he could get as a “blooper” while working his shifts.

The pay was also nothing to complain about.

“It was $8.50 an hour, so it paid pretty well; They paid the night people a lot nicer than the morning people.” said Albertson.

After working a shift, Ben said he would come home around seven in the morning, and proceed to sleep through the morning and afternoon.

“My parents were pretty understanding about it, I’d sleep until maybe 1 p.m. and then I’d get up and do whatever else I needed to do for the rest of the day, then stay up and go to work at night.” said Albertson.

It took awhile for Ben to adjust to the sleep schedule Paradise Donuts gave him, and he had to adjust once again when coming to Washburn. Regardless, Ben’s experience at Paradise Donuts was a unique one, and he was happy with his time there.