Southern Maid Donuts began in 1937 by Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Hargrove. A young couple coming out of the throws of the Great Depression, they created Southern Maid because they saw the need in the market for quality donuts. They created their own recipes, which have stood the test of time. Quality ingredients and uncompromised procedures are reason for the continued success of the Hargrove family to this very day.
The product was so well accepted that besides selling donuts in their privately owned shops that they were sought out by individuals wanting to use Southern Maid products in their own bakeries and stores. The Hargrove couple began to license their trademark and to help individuals realize their dreams of owning their own businesses. Today, Southern Maid is used in over 100 stores.
The Southern Maid name came about because of being from the South. Mr. and Mrs. Hargrove wanted a name that encompassed a feeling as well as humble southern traditions and memories. Part of this Southern Maid tradition was a large sponsorship for several years of the Louisiana Hayride Show in Shreveport, Louisiana. Many a young entertainer sang the praises of Southern Maid Donuts. An interesting note: Elvis did the only commercial of his life for any product on November 6th, 1954 for Southern Maid Donuts. He sang the jingle. "You can get them piping hot after 4 P.M., you can get them piping hot, Southern Maid Donuts hits the spot, you can get them piping hot after 4 P.M." Elvis frequented the Shreveport store for donuts on his visits to the Louisiana Hayride. Other entertainers that sang the praises of Southern Maid include Minnie Pearl, Johnny Horton, and Johnny Cash. The Johnny Cash version was released on the Best of the Louisiana Hayride Volume 4.
Southern Maid products are also used institutionally in the form of pancake and muffin mixes. The Hargroves had created a pancake mix for home use. Over time, the mix was given to friends and family members. The requests for the mix got so large that they began to package it in 50-pound bags for selling to hotels and restaurants.
Southern Maid has remained a tradition in the South because of the continued use of quality ingredients and procedures. We have been family owned since inception in 1937. Though Mr. and Mrs. Hargrove have since passed on, Southern Maid has evolved into the second and third generations of family ownership and management.