By Trevor Colgan
Schanon Perkins has been coming to Lindsey’s Bakery since she was 15. For her, Lindsey’s — and the Pumpkin Show in general — is all about family.
That’s what keeps her coming back. Oh, and maybe the doughnuts. Those are kind of important.
For as long as the line was during a late October rainy night on the Friday of the Circleville Pumpkin Show — the line extended out to the door and to the street behind the shop — something must keep Perkins wanting to wait that long.
“I come to the Pumpkin Show just for these doughnuts,” Perkins says. “They’re that good. If the line was three miles long, I’d stand in this line for some doughnuts.”
Lindsey’s owners, brothers Zach and Burt Miller, greet customers as they come into the shop. Even with all the people standing in line, the Miller brothers run the shop, with its pink tile interior like they have a million times. That’s probably because they have. The bakery has been in the family since 1950.
Their grandfather, Gene Lindsey, bought it when it was Wallace’s Bakery. Lindsey had seen the shop was for sale when he got stuck in Circleville because of a snowstorm coming back from an Ohio State football game.
Lindsey’s daughter, Kate, was the next to run the bakery, taking over in the 1980s. Now, Zach and Burt are in charge, as they have been for about five years.
People inside the shop, and those just walking past, have to take an extended look at what sits inside the left side of the shop.
It’s a pumpkin pie — a large pumpkin pie. Once designated by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest, Lindsey’s giant pumpkin pie has reached 18 feet in diameter.
It takes a lot of ingredients to make a pie that big. The 100th anniversary pie was constructed from more than 1,500 pounds of ingredients: 360 pounds of sugar, 795 pounds of pumpkin, 60 pounds of powdered milk and 400 pounds of flour were combined with 60 dozen eggs and 75 gallons of water to make the large pie. When put together, it took 15 people to mix it. The hard work shows.
The pie-making process for the over-sized pie isn’t a typical one, it’s almost like putting together a puzzle.
“It’s a matter of patching together a crust,” Zach says.
For comparison, an average pie is made from a ½ teaspoon sugar, 1 ¼ cups of flour, 12 ounces of evaporated milk, two eggs and 6 tablespoons of water. The amount of ingredients Lindsey’s uses for its world-famous pie would make a lot of regular-sized pies.
It’s not just the large pumpkin pie that Lindsey’s is known for. The store front reads “pumpkin doughnuts available year-round.” The pumpkin doughnuts are a big seller — Lindsey’s is frying doughnuts 24 hours a day during the Pumpkin Show, held every year starting the third Wednesday in October.
The bakery also sells some other pumpkin-flavored food, such as cakes.
As the Millers continue to sell doughnuts throughout the night, it’s easy to see how the brother dynamic is effective. Zach handles most of the day-to-day business, while Burt takes on the baking. This allows the artistry and the taste of what Lindsey’s makes to shine. Even if people complain about the prices, people will end up coming back. They end up appreciating the labor and love that goes into the shop and its goodies.
“Nine times out of 10, if people complain, they come back,” Miller says. “I can’t think of a time they haven’t come back.”