Meet Leigh Kellis, the founder and co-owner of The Holy Donut and author of Women Who Need Donuts.
“I approached the business and my cravings with love, and the business has blossomed from making twelve donuts a day in a pot on my stove for $5/day to an eighty-employee, $6 million/year operation.” – Women Who Need Donuts
Leigh will be the first one to say that her donuts are nothing out of the ordinary but loyal fans would argue that they are unforgettable. You are probably wondering what makes them so special. Let’s start with the not-so-secret ingredient…Maine mashed potatoes. Everyone knows mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food, but add them (without butter and milk) to some sugar, butter, flour and a few more baking basics like baking powder, baking soda and salt and you get a super moist donut that almost melts in your mouth. But here is why Leigh’s donuts came out on top. She came up with the most unique flavors like Maine’s favorite and inexpensive Allen’s Coffee Brandy; freshly squeezed and zested infused Lemon Glaze; roasted sweet potato donuts; vegan and gluten-free donuts (that actually tasted delicious); the addictive, Holy Cannoli Donut (with a ginger glaze and a ricotta filling) and the ultimate Bacon Cheddar Filled donut. The Dark Chocolate Sea Salt is my favorite!
I’m going to stop here before I go into a donut coma just writing about all this wholesome sugary goodness.
Leigh’s mission was simple: she aimed to make a sinfully delicious donut from scratch that she felt good eating. Take a listen to her podcast and hear the incredible story of how Maine’s reigning Donut Queen made it all happen with love, passion and family.
Women Who Need Donuts (Copyright 2018, Leigh Kellis)
Donuts changed my life.
I decided to make donuts after years of telling myself I couldn’t have them, and instead listening to another voice that said,
“Yes you can.”
This book is the story of making a business — and all decisions — out of love.
Donuts were love for my appetite. Love for my cravings. Love for my community. Love for my life — needing to pay my bills. Love for my family. Love for my daughter. My dad’s love for me.
This podcast would not feel complete without an homage to Leigh’s father, Allan Kellis, who was a co-owner and a huge part of The Holy Donut’s success. He was also a big time Barbershop quartet fan and composed this awesome Holy Donut jingle that we simply had to include in this episode in his memory.