The Last Chance Stampede is one of four chances fans can experience mini-donuts this year. Terry Pfeiffer owns the stand and only brings out the tasty treats for special occasions.
“We do a lot of boat shows and guns shows and it doesn’t fit the profile,” Pfeiffer said. “That machine doesn’t like to sit stagnate.”
“That’s where you want to keep the oil,” Pfeiffer said. “If it gets to low it’ll started getting jammed up in here.”
The 1987 CMR Graduate keeps an eye on the miniature round delights, as the donut machine produces up to 1200 donuts an hour, plus he doesn’t want to keep customers waiting.
“We’ll serve somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 to 800 every night,” Pfeiffer said.
The idea to own the stand occurred as Pfeiffer stood in a long mini-donuts line in 2003. Perfect timing, it turned out, as the owners looked to sell and accepted his five-figure bid. Friends and family assist the Great Falls native run the stand, and maybe one day they’ll take over.
“I got two generations behind me right now,” Pfeiffer said. “They’re not ready for it yet.”
Maybe when they grow up. Over the years, the Helena resident watched several kids grow up and considers them family.
“Teenagers we served when they were babies,” Pfeiffer said. “It’s very rewarding.”
With many repeat customers, the donuts must taste good. So what toppings go with the sweet treats?
“Powder sugar, chocolate, maple, caramel, we do an s’mores with chocolate marshmallow grahams,” Pfeiffer said. “I’m doing a new one this year: Butter Finger.”