Sampling Beiler’s Bakery in Reading Terminal
We all love donuts. But, don’t start calling yourself a donut connoisseur until you’ve tried one (or five) from Beiler’s Bakery located in Reading Terminal Market. Any frequenter of the Philly hotspot will tell you that the bakery’s donuts are worth the trip.
It seemed as though I wasn’t the only one craving donuts when I went to try them for myself one Friday afternoon. At first, I was a bit overwhelmed by the gargantuan line that awaited me, as was my compatriot in this mission, Alexanne Marousis ’19. “It was pretty hectic, people were rushing,” Marousis said. “It was slightly intimidating.”
Yet, we assured ourselves that sugary goodness lay at the end of this adventure, so we persisted, as all good donut enthusiasts do. My excitement increased when I overheard a woman in front of us ask one of her friends, “Is this that donut place? Oh, it’s worth the wait! This ain’t Dunkin’ Donuts!”
As soon as we got closer to the front, we were able to see how the donuts are made.
“They were very precise, moving quickly, effectively, very focused on their work,” Marousis later pointed out to me.
According to one of the employees, it takes about 15-20 minutes to actually make the donuts, so they are constantly producing more. They have about 60 flavors of donuts freshly made each day that are available for consumption.
After an eternity of waiting, we finally made it to the front – I got my favorite, Boston cream, and Marousis picked up a chocolate-glazed. Needless to say, in terms of taste, but judging by the amount of chocolate on our faces and hands by the end of our trip, I’d say it was well worth it.
Keith Beiler, the General Manager of Operations for Beiler’s and grandson to the founder, says that his grandfather established the first shop in Reading Terminal in the 70s.
“The Reading Terminal was about 40 percent occupied then,” Beiler said. “The management wanted more shops so they went to West Chester , where my grandfather was. He then sold it to my mom in the 80s. Then, me and my brother took over with the donut shop, and we run it now.” When asked what makes the donuts so popular, Beiler said, “I honestly have no idea! We’ve [been using] the same recipe since my grandfather made it, and it’s all hand-made.”
Since his grandfather was an Amish merchant, he brought those values into how the various Beiler shops were run. Those same traditions found their way into the taste of these donuts.
“It’s more what we don’t put into them. We don’t ever put in preservatives – you need to make them fresh,” Beiler said. “Every night we get rid of the donuts we don’t sell.”
Beiler’s own favorite donut is cream filled powder. “It’s the most traditional doughnut. Anyone from Lancaster’s favorites are cream filled powder and glazed,” said Beiler.
The bakery is planning on opening another bakery in University City, at 39th and Chestnut St. on Feb. 27. The grand opening of their new shop will be held from 6-9 a.m. and they are even giving out free donuts during that time. They also are planning to open either in West Chester, Pa., or King of Prussia, Pa. I don’t know about you, but I know I’m going to be swinging by to try some more.