PORTLAND, Maine — “I’ll give you $100 if you can find me two more doughnuts,” an older gentleman calls out as he and his wife march past the A-frame sidewalk sign reading “sold out,” and into The Holy Donut. The sign had already been out for an hour. Owner Leigh Kellis sighs, “I feel so bad when we run out.”
This is a typical Saturday morning for the 5-month-old shop in Portland’s Deering Oaks neighborhood, even though Kellis and her staff, several of whom are family members (she co-owns the business with her father, Allen), have continuously ramped up production since they opened. Nowadays, they turn out roughly 1,200 doughnuts a day in at least a dozen different flavors: plain wide rings dredged with cinnamon-sugar or dripping with maple, lemon, vanilla, or “mojito” lime glaze; sweet potato doughnuts laced with ginger; best-selling dark-chocolate doughnuts flecked with coarse sea salt. All doughnuts are $1.50 each, $8 per half-dozen, and $15 per dozen. To satisfy savory cravings, Kellis dreamed up a Hot Pocket-style fritter stuffed with bacon and sharp cheddar.