Ben-Ellen Donuts welcome back customers

FAIRLEA, WV (WOAY) – Ben-Ellen Donuts opened up shop to a long line of eager customers at the fairgrounds today.

“I would say that my children have never missed a West Virginia State Fair in their entire lives,” said customer Autumn Bess. “It is definitely a family tradition for us, as are the donuts. We were excited to be able to come here and support them even though the traditional fair isn’t going on.”

The current owners took over the business over 30 years ago in 1989 and bought the booth at the fairgrounds in 2004. Since then, they’ve offered the same crowd-favorite donuts topped with cinnamon-sugar that Ben-Ellen Donuts has served for nearly 70 years.

“The turnout has been just overwhelming and we sure appreciate it,” said owner Tommy Vance. “We appreciate the support of the community and we’re just happy to be able to be here and do this.”

Ben-Ellen Donuts is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday this week and next week.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at