SUPERIOR, Neb.- If you're a Superior native, then you are probably familiar with the famous gravel top donuts.
"They were started by the Superior Bakery back in the 30's and 40's," Ideal Market co-owner Jenny McCord said. "We actually have some of the equipment they used in that bakery." Now the donuts are made at Ideal Market, which is a full-service grocery store in Superior featuring a deli, meat counter, and of course a bakery.
"One thing that is unique about our bakery is we do make all of our donuts. We don't bring them in already made and frozen and stick them on the shelf. We actually fry them and make them fresh every morning," McCord said. It's at the Ideal Market where you can get the gravel tops. "It essentially started out as a cinnamon roll with maple frosting on it and a special butter top crunch. It has a special texture that mimics gravel, and so that's how we came up with the name gravel top," McCord said.
These donuts are a Superior original. Owners of the grocery store are known to send packages of them around the country. "I've shipped to Maine before, south Texas, and I've even frozen some and smuggled them in my luggage to a friend of my in Australia," McCord said. At one point there was a gravel top crisis. The company that made the special topping mixture, decided to no longer make it. "But they had a new butterscotch crunch and it had too much coconut flavor, nobody liked it," McCord said. "We weren't going to spend our money on something that everybody was saying.. oh it's changed. So for about a year we were without gravel tops." Thankfully the owners found a business in Kansas City that had the right formula. "So after a year of not having any, we got the gravel tops back," McCord said.
The gravel top donuts aren't the only delicacy that you can find here in Superior. Another popular item is the Sauerkraut pizza at Dave's Place. And Melinda Duncan takes great care in making the pizza right. One secret is to drain the kraut before putting it on the pizza, to avoid a soggy crust. Another secret is the special seasoning. It seems that the kraut can go with any combination. "You can get the hamburger kraut, the combination kraut, and some people ask for just cheese and kraut," Duncan said. "At first, I said that's all you want? They said, oh yeah that's a delicacy. And they ate it all!"
With food this good, it's not surprising that people "eat it all". Local leaders in Superior say these foods are big draws to the community. "I think we have a lot of unique items in our town, we also have a winery that serves pizza, and wine slushes," Chamber of Commerce manager Shanel Rempe said. "A lot of our other businesses offer something different, and I think that's something Superior can build upon."
Back at Ideal Market, owners say they'll continue putting the gravel tops on the shelves daily, or in the mail as needed. "People who have grown up here and then moved away, the one thing they remember and that is still around is the gravel top donuts," McCord said. I
It's a taste of home, that makes Superior a great hometown.