1. News

Amish Baking Co. cooks up success at the Florida State Fair

Raini Perry, 14, of Jacksonville celebrates her first time at the Florida State Fair with a warm Amish doughnut topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. The Amish Baking Co. debuted two products this year.
Published Feb. 11, 2016


Raini Perry takes a smooth, warm slice of strawberry and whipped cream-topped doughnut and quickly puts the forkful into her mouth.

"I'm in heaven," she said, "fluffy heaven."

Perry, 14, from Jacksonville is getting her first taste of a Florida State Fair-favorite: the Amish doughnut from the Amish Baking Co. stand outside the Expo Center.

The tent is one of two at the Florida State Fair this year, serving up giant, warm and sticky Amish doughnuts and handmade soft pretzels.

On Sunday, the fourth day of the fair, lines at both stands stretched to more than 10 people throughout the day.

"I waited in line to buy one and it was like heaven," said Chuck Pesano, Florida State Fair Authority executive director. "It's one of those things where it's better than you can imagine."

Owner Nate Peachey said the company debuted two products this year: a strawberry-stuffed doughnut and the Sweetheart, a strawberry and whipped cream-topped doughnut with hot fudge.

Peachey said the Sarasota-based company rarely makes changes to its menu, but went with two firsts this year.

"The donut is still the star player in the new creation," he said. "It's like a big dessert, best eaten with a fork and a knife."

Peachey and his siblings, all former Amish and some Mennonite, created the Amish Baking Co. in 2007 on a mobile concept, with a food truck delivering baked goods to fairs and festivals in the Sarasota area.

His family of eight use to run Peachey's Home Baking in North Carolina, where their four-car garage was converted into a bakery and where Peachey started baking at age 12.

"It's called Amish Baking Co. because that's what I do," Peachey said. "I grew up working in that bakery."

Peachey uses the recipes from his family's bakery to create the doughnuts gobbled up at the fair for the past six years. The recipe for the glaze came from his aunt, who is also a baker.

"My great-grandmother, grandmother and my mother did doughnuts. We would make them every Saturday morning," Peachey said. "But I changed a few things in the recipe to personalize it."

The idea for the Sweetheart doughnut came during last year's Strawberry Festival, where Peachey and his co-workers were playing around drizzling some leftover hot fudge onto their doughnuts.

Peachey said the first few days of the fair were slow when it came to selling the new Sweetheart, but people still lined up for their staple doughnuts. With the cool weather coming this weekend, he and his co-workers are getting ready for busier days by getting more staffers to work the stands.

"Saturdays and Sundays are the big days," Peachey said. "From about noon to 10 p.m., there are lines."

When Peachey and his bakers are done frying dough and slathering it with glaze at the state fair, it's on to the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, where they will continue to serve the Sweetheart and strawberry-topped doughnut.

"It's what I know how to do. Everyone has things they're skilled at," Peachey said. "For me it was practically being born in a bakery."

Contact Chelsea Tatham at Follow @chelseatatham


  1. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    The driver of a Ford F250 truck took evasive action but collided with the pedestrian, officials say.
  2. Hernando County sheriff’s sergeant  Louis “Lou” Genovese died Saturday after struggling for weeks with an undisclosed medical condition, according to the Sheriff's Office. He was 41. HERNANDO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE  |  Hernando County Sheriff's Office
    Sergeant Louis “Lou” Genovese, a deputy since 2006, was 41.
  3. FILE - This June 2, 2017, file image made from video shows the Trump National Doral in Doral, Fla. President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, he is reversing his plan to hold the next Group of Seven world leaders' meeting at his Doral, Florida, golf resort. (AP Photo/Alex Sanz, File) ALEX SANZ  |  AP
    The chief of staff called Trump’s sudden change of course — announced by the president on Twitter Saturday evening — “the right decision.”
  4. An Army carry team transfers the remains of Staff Sgt. Aaron R. Butler at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Friday. Butler died Wednesday of injuries sustained from an IED in Afghanistan.
    The soldiers were with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team and were in a Bradley fighting vehicle. They were not immediately identified.
  5. Hernando County community news Tara McCarty
    News and notes from Hernando County
  6.  Tampa Bay Times
    No information was released about the individual who died.
  7. Jeffrey D. Senese was inaugurated as Saint Leo University's 10th president. Pictured, Monsignor Robert Morris (left), Class of 1979, and a member of the board of trustees, and D. Dewey Mitchell, chair of the university’s board of trustees, bestow the presidential medallion on Senese. Renee Gerstein and William Speer, Saint Leo University
    New and notes on local businesses
  8. Dr. Manjusri Vennamaneni (center) was awarded Businesswoman of the Year by the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce. With her are Matt Romeo, President of PrimeCare (left), and Dr. Pariksith Singh, CEO, Access Health Care Physicians. Vince Vanni
    News and notes on local businesses
  9. Scientology’s international spiritual headquarters in downtown Clearwater is anchored by the Flag Building, on left. An elevated walkway connects the building to the Fort Harrison Hotel, the church’s first purchase in the city in 1975. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    The mysterious deals could reshape downtown Clearwater.
  10. Clearwater City Council members react to Tampa Bay Times reporting showing companies tied to members of Scientology bought 101 acres of downtown commercial property in three years. Times  |   (2017)
    We showed the politicians a map of the land now owned by buyers tied to Scientology. Here’s what they said.