The cream of the crop

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MANCHESTER — As if anyone needs a reason to eat a freshly baked doughnuts, National Cream Filled Doughnut Day provides the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a maple cream.

This year, the "holiday" is today.

While little is known about the origin of National Cream Filled Doughnut Day, the cousin to the more famous National Doughnut Day, which is held annually on the first Friday of June, it is still a day worth celebrating.

Drew Bove, owner of Mrs. Murphy's Donuts in Manchester Center, agrees.

Bove has been serving the residents and tourists of Manchester for more than 30 years. Since he purchased the shop from Mr. Murphy, who named it after his grandmother, not much has changed inside the establishment. It still has the same locally minded, Manchester community atmosphere.

Bernice Felion, who has worked at Mrs. Murphy's for more than 10 years, says despite what the posted hours say, they're "pretty much always open for the locals." Especially, Felion points out, "for emergencies."

"The snow plow guys come in here at 2 or 3 in the morning," Felion said. "They'll make their own pot of coffee."

Mrs. Murphy's Donuts has its regulars.

"You'll find the same people sitting at the same stool," said Tammy Keyes, who is Felion's mother and helps out in the shop. On any given morning the counter is full of the regulars eating their doughnuts and sipping freshly brewed coffee served in hefty, white diner mugs."

As the regulars enjoy the camaraderie, the doughnuts on the racks begin to disappear with each new customer coming in and selecting a dozen to go.

Every donut, muffin and bun is baked on site and begins when a baker comes in around 10 p.m. the night before. A second baker will join in about 4 a.m. Together they bake not only the cream-filled doughnuts but roughly 14 other varieties plus seasonal doughnuts such as pumpkin or blueberry.

"Everyone always asks what is the most popular doughnut," Keyes said with a laugh as she turns to look at the racks of doughnuts behind the counter. "It just depends."

She said crullers "are easier to eat when you're driving."

Although Mrs. Murphy's has no official plans to celebrate National Cream Filled Doughnut Day, there will be an ample supply of their well-known maple cream, the classic Boston cream, the always tempting Bavarian cream, and the good old-fashioned coconut cream.

It is recommended to arrive early in order to enjoy them at their freshest.

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