Winter storm in Ingham County keeps people from paczkis

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Town classic Groovy Donuts, 313 W. Grand River Ave. in Williamston, opened its doors on Fat Tuesday to those undeterred by the snowy roads. That day it only served paczkis, vegan paczkis, and gluten-free cake donuts compared to its extensive weekend donut menu. 

A winter storm though hit Ingham County overnight and left residents stuck at home. 

“We’ve been getting a lot of calls about people seeing if we still have paczkis because they are stuck in their driveways,” said Elizabeth Williams, a Groovy Donuts employee.

Paczki Day preparation

In preparation for the normally very busy day, Groovy Donuts took orders up to 24 hours before Tuesday, February 16. They also extended business hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Groovy Donuts filled the racks with a variety of different flavor filled paczkis.

Olivia Santelli

To accommodate paczki orders — some made a month in advance — and for walk-in customers, Groovy Donuts made over 5,000 of the jelly-filled donuts to sell at both locations. 

“My wife put in our order about a month ago to make sure we could get them today,” said Brian Sharp, a customer on Fat Tuesday. It was our first time getting our paczkis from Groovy Donuts, but I think the blueberry filled one is going to be my favorite.” 

A slow day

There was a line out the door in the early morning at Groovy Donuts but business slowed as the morning continued.

A line-less view of Groovy Donuts

Olivia Santelli

Piles of snow left regulars trapped in their driveways. Williamston public works though is good about keeping the roads clean throughout the day, said Williams.

“Normally, we have a growing line, but this year we were not sure what to expect with both COVID-19 and the snowstorm,” said Rachel Osborn, a Groovy Donuts employee.

“When more people wake up and the roads clear, I’m sure the line will be back until we sell out,”  said Osborn.

Williamston Public Works 

In preparation for the winter storm the Department of Public Works started their day at two in the morning. 

“We clear the downtown area in the morning before a lot of cars get out on the road,” said Scott Debris, DPW employee, over a phone interview. Some crews start from the center of town and run their routes through the residential areas.” 

The Williamston community took to Facebook to praise the DPW for keeping the roads safe. 

“The City Council is very supportive when it comes to getting us the proper equipment needed,” said Debris. “Our readiness for snow is all kudos to the community ”

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