FoodNetwork.com named Julie's Sweet Shoppe in their list of "Best Doughnuts in America" by state.
Julie's, which claimed the Arkansas spot with their Glazed Yeast doughnut, is a family-owned bakery located in Conway.
Taught by her father Ed, founder of Ed's Bakery in Conway, Julie Goodnight was just 17 when she started in the bakery business, and has now owned her own establishment since 2013.
Goodnight says it wasn't so much being taught all of the details and steps, as it was practice and understanding.
"You learn from experience and being around it and trial and error," said Goodnight.
When Goodnight recently found out that she was named on Food Network's website, she was faced with an odd mixture of happiness and confusion.
Though the site's slideshow, titled "50 States of Doughnuts", denotes Julie's Sweet Shoppe as its Arkansas representative in the doughnut world, Goodnight says she had absolutely no idea about the accolade.
Goodnight said she got a text from her cousin saying "Congratulations" with a link to the site. This was the first time she had heard anything about it.
"There were no calls, no emails, no letters. [We] just found it on the Internet," Goodnight said.
In their nod to the local business, Food Network remarks that "at first glance, this doughnut seems pretty simple," but later states that "the result is amazingly large and fluffy with just the right amount of sweetness."
The trick to Julie's "seemingly simple" doughnuts, however, is as impressive as the flavors they hold.
All Julie's doughnuts are handmade on a daily basis.
"[In bakeries] I've worked at before, we used this machine called a Belshaw machine. It cut your doughnuts out, proofed them, dropped them in the fryer, flipped them for your and glazed them for you," said Goodnight who described the process as very "hands free."
Goodnight went on to explain that the machine would break down constantly and was very expensive to repair.
With the Belshaw already costing an initial price of around $150,000, Goodnight said she didn't want to have to deal with the maintenance of up-keeping the machine.
"We decided that we didn't want that, we wanted to have more control over [the process]," said Goodnight, "It's more labor intensive, but it's worth it to be able to be hands-on."
Due to the amount of work that goes into producing the doughnuts, the process begins well before opening time.
"Our bakers get here between 9 and 10 o'clock at night," stated Goodnight who explained that they have to start early because everything has to be ready and dry in time for deliveries early the next morning.
Starting by mixing the ingredients from a recipe created with the help of a supplier, the bakers get to work on preparing the doughnuts.
Being a yeast-based pastry, the dough has to rise a certain amount before it can be cut and fried.
"It's a slower process, and the temperature can affect it greatly," said Goodnight.
After the dough has risen, the bakers weigh it, cut it off, and roll it out before using a hand-held tool that cuts the dough into six pieces at a time before being put into the fryer.
A handmade glaze is poured over the top, and the doughnuts are set aside to cool.
Goodnight said she believes this old-fashioned way of baking could have been what put her at the top of the list to be chosen by the network.
When asked how it felt to be featured on Food Network's site, Goodnight said that she is "tickled pink" by the recognition.