The company's billboards say "a balanced diet is a donut in each hand."

Maple Donuts Inc. owner and President Charles Burnside, 68, said those recognizable ads around the county have helped the Springettsbury Township doughnut maker gain an important market share.

"Being in business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark," he said.

But the 67-year-old company doesn't need ads where it's growing the most.

"The largest growth of our business is the wholesale, private label end," Burnside said.

Private label sales put Maple Donuts in grocery and retail chains throughout the country and in Mexico, but they're sold as another brand--typically the retailer's house brand.

Because that side of the family business is growing so much, the company is requesting permission for a 7,000-square-foot expansion at its headquarters at 3455 E. Market St.

The Springettsbury Township planning commission will take up the issue at its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The addition will be used for extra freezer space, Burnside said.

"We need more freezers so we can freeze our doughnuts faster and ensure the integrity of the product, so the customers get the freshest product when we ship it," he said.

Having more space would beef up production, adding more than 10 local jobs, Burnside said.

Maple Donuts employes more than 250 people in York County and about another 200 in Erie, where it recently completed an expansion.

The company added a 20,000-square-foot expansion to its 80,000-square-foot facility in Lake City, adding 60 jobs in the northwest region of the state and investing more than $4.5 million in the project.

The larger facility will be operational by the end of the week, Burnside said.

Helping with the Erie expansion are a Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development $13,500 Guaranteed Free Training grant to be used for skills training for employees, a $1.3 million loan from the Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund to be repaid within 10 years and a $793,800 low-interest loan from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority.

The strong work ethic in both Erie and York has helped the company grow, Burnside said.

Maple Donuts' recipe has also boosted business, he said.

"Using the freshest ingredients has been our philosophy through the years. If a restaurant buys a good piece of meat, you'll have a good steak. If it's substandard, it will be a bad steak. That's why we always get the finest ingredients," Burnside said.

Those fine ingredients have made the glazed doughnut the company's best seller; the owner struggled to name his pick.

"What's my favorite? Like my grandchildren, I love 'em all," he said.

--Reach Candy Woodall at cwoodall@yorkdispatch.com.