Onondaga Historical Association (OHA) is teaming up with Glazed & Confused, the popular local donut shop located on North Clinton Street, to reintroduce the award winning “Marry Elizabeth Cruller” to Syracuse. The Cruller will be made from the original recipe of Syracuse native Mary Elizabeth Evans Sharpe (1884-1985) and available for purchase beginning Thursday, May 9th.
After the unexpected deaths of her father and grandfather, 16 year old Mary Elizabeth (left) lifted her family of widows and children out of poverty by making and selling candy. Her empire grew to include candy shops, tearooms and restaurants from Boston to Bermuda.
In addition to her candy, Mary Elizabeth’s restaurants included lunches along with cakes, cookies, and, of course, the Cruller. Her restaurant on 5th Avenue in New York City served over 1,000 lunches a day, according to a Syracuse Post Standard newspaper article from August 9th, 1916.
Mary Elizabeth’s story is one of the great female entrepreneurial and philanthropic rags to riches tales in our nation’s history and will be featured in a new book “A Nation of Entrepreneurs” coming out this May.
In 1976, the “New Yorker” magazine, in a competition to find the Best Old-Fashioned Donut in New York City, named Mary Elizabeth’s Cruller as the winner. In 1979, the New York Times went on a similar quest and the winner, again, was Mary Elizabeth’s Cruller.
Mary Elizabeth’s exceptional philanthropic legacy will also continue at Glazed & Confused where a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every Mary Elizabeth’s Cruller benefits OHA. A brochure that details the story of Mary Elizabeth will be available with every order. Every purchase of Mary Elizabeth’s Cruller supports local industry, a local entrepreneurial business, and our local comprehensive general historical organization, OHA.
This collaborative project was supported by the Hueber-Breuer Construction Company.