Bowman J. Spalding

Bowman J. Spalding

In 1929, Bowman J. Spalding and his wife Zelma started selling doughnuts out of their home on Rand Avenue in Lexington KY.

Five years later, the Spalding family moved a little closer to downtown. The bakery moved with them, to the corner of Sixth and Limestone. It would remain there for 70 years.

BJ and Zelma's granddaughter Martha lived with her extended family above the bakery. One of Martha's fondest memories is sneaking downstairs before her mother was awake, where her grandfather would feed her hot doughnuts. Martha's mother was always surprised when Martha had no appetite for breakfast.

Watercolor of the old bakery

Watercolor of the old bakery
© Robert M. Sandford; used by permission

Martha decorating a cake

Martha decorating a cake, 1981

Martha came to work with her grandfather and uncle, James C. "Bud" Spalding, after she graduated from the University of Kentucky. Later, Martha's mother, Joyce Spalding Leverett, joined the family business.

Uncle Bud retired at the end of 2004. Martha and her mother decided to move the bakery to a larger site.

Construction billboard

Image © Jeffrey J. Dunkin; used by permission

Opening day

The doors have been open about half an hour

Image © Matt Simpson; used by permission

The new bakery opened in March 2006. Customers were hungry after 15 months without Spalding's.

Spalding's doughnuts have been made by hand for over 75 years.

Cutting doughnuts

The doughnuts go on birch boards to rise before frying.

Spalding great-granddaughter eating a doughnut

BJ Spalding feeds his great-granddaughter Emily a doughnut, circa 1986

The family recipe is a hit with doughnut lovers of all ages.