Never heard of Beep’s Bakery? Not a surprise, it’s well off the usual thoroughfares in western Maine’s mountains, but trust me, it’s also well worth finding for what might well be the state’s best doughnuts.
Trusting word on the streets of Norway and South Paris, we detoured off Route 26 in West Paris onto to Route 219, noodling through the back hills and ponds, before stumbling upon the bakery in the back of a farmhouse.
Frankly, I wasn’t expecting to find doughnuts at 3 p.m., truly I was surprised to even find the place open, but it was and when I asked, baker Glenn Hinckley said he had a few out back. I requested two plain, and after one mouthful, I understood the buzz about Beep’s. These are light, moist yet dry, the perfect doughnut consistency. And the flavor? Heavenly. Another customer, obviously a regular, was settled into a table sipping coffee. “Next time, get the raised glazed,” he advised. “Perfection.”
Hinckley makes his hand-cut doughnuts from scratch using natural ingredients sourced locally whenever possible. His motto is “Real food from real ingredients,” here’s what that means:
We support the local agricultural and economic community of Sumner and surrounding towns. We buy our milk, buttermilk, honey, maple syrup, and eggs from local producers. Our butter is purchased from a New England dairy that buys from our local farmers. Buying fresh and local can cost a bit more, but you truly taste the difference. Another reason our products taste so good is our use of sea salt, pure vanilla extract, 24-25 % cocoa butter cocoa, unbleached and unbromated flour with barley, healthful coconut oil instead of canola, unsulphured molasses — all the ingredients with which our ancestors cooked.
And yes, you can taste the difference. Beyond doughnuts, Beep’s also bakes whoopie pies, cookies, muffins, breads, pies, and other treats. Next time, I’ll be purchasing not only doughnuts—plain, molasses, raised glazed, and oh, so many choices— but also a loaf of the buttermilk white cinnamon-swirl bread. And probably quite a bit more.
Now making a pilgrimage to Beep’s is smart anytime, but pair it with a day trip to view the foliage.