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Blessed are the Donut Makers: Q+A with Lori Kettelle of PVDonuts

April 30, 2016


Providence has been invaded. By donuts.

Led by Lori Kettelle, PVDonuts has exploded onto the food scene here in Providence. But these aren't just any donuts, these are PVDonuts. Written in big red letters on any confectionary lover's calendar, is a mustn't miss appointment every Saturday morning, at a select few location across Providence where these monster donuts can be acquired.


Lines are forming well before opening time at the doors of Coastal Roasters, Malachi's Cafe, Angelina's and Stock Culinary Goods, with crowds of eager people keen to grab their donut (or donuts) for the day.

I got myself along to Stock Culinary Goods, as it's so conveniently located in my 'hood', in type A fashion: half an hour before opening time.


Chief donut delivery chap Paul (Lori's husband, who quite rightly and adorably recognizes that his main role at PVDonuts is to 'Make Lori's life easier however I can!') delivered the precious cargo right on time, just dodging the hungry hoards. This week's selection included: Vegan Strawberry Glaze, Lemon and Poppyseed, and Vanilla Glaze.

Though PVDonuts offer both old fashioned and yeasted varieties, all of these were hulking great yeasted varieties, and each about the size of my face.


After snagging one of each, and a coffee from Seven Stars up the street because we all know a donut's best mate is a coffee, Charlie and I hustled back home with what felt like our black market score, to chow down and ultimately become complete converts to the PVDonut cult.


Huge, soft and fluffy on the inside, with a satisfying slight crisp to the shell from both the glaze and the golden crust, the donuts earned an 'A++ would buy again' from us both. Even my sweet-toothless husband could help going back in for bites of all three, which was probably a massive over ordering on our part, because these 'nuts are massive.

Whilst the Strawberry Glaze, topped with dehydrated strawberry chips was delicious, the slightly heavier texture of the vegan recipe meant that the Lemon and Poppy Seed pipped it to the post for our joint favourite.



I managed to catch up with Lori to ask her a bit about her donut making, flavor creating, and bricks and mortar accommodating (eek!):

Are you from Providence originally? If not, when did you arrive in the ocean state?

I am originally from New Jersey, and I arrived here in 2008 for college. I graduated from  the P4 program at Johnson & Wales in 2012.

What inspired your love affair with donuts and when did it begin?

A couple of years ago my husband and I traveled to Portland, ME and discovered The Holy Donut. We'd find excuses to spend weekends in Portland just to go there (no shame), and would be bummed when we got back and there was nothing like it close by!

What made you decide to start PVDonuts? What there a particular moment when you knew your calling was to bring donuts to the good people of Providence?

Simply put: Providence needed a gourmet donut shop. I think a lot of people had been wondering when it was going to finally happen - myself included - so I figured, "Hey, why not just do it?" I started R&D almost two years ago because it was really important for me to develop the right recipe.

What drives your flavour profiles? Do you use local ingredients?

The seasons drive my flavour profiles - I want to be able to switch it up as the seasons change so that in addition to core donut offerings, we have seasonal offerings. We've worked with a few, but as we transition into our new location, we'll be looking to establish new partnerships (hint, hint).

Can you give me any more details about the soon to be bricks-and-mortar store? Is there a particular part of PVD you'd love to be in? Where do you make the donuts right now?

Right now I produce out of Hope & Main in Warren, RI. They have been incredible over the past 6 months in helping me get off the ground. Our location will be at 200 Allens Ave in Providence. We'll be moving into the cafe at Sin - it'll be a co-branded effort at first, but as they transition out of their space, we'll eventually take over.

I know you supply donuts to some select local stores on the weekends and offer wholesale- how do people get in touch if they want to order? How do you price your wholesale?

People can fill out the contact form on the bottom of our website (www.pvdonuts.com) if they're interested! However, we are putting private and wholesale orders on hold until we've settled into our new space. We want to make sure that everything is good to go for opening day!

What's your favourite donut flavour? 

I haven't made it yet, but chocolate sea salt glazed is my favorite, and we're going to be developing that recipe soon.

When you're not making donuts what do you like to do?

Honestly, I love napping. If you know anything about bakers hours, they are a far cry from the usual Monday - Friday, 9-5 kind of job. Otherwise, I love to travel, try new places to eat, and spending as much time with friends and family as I can.

What is your favourite food hangout in Providence right now?

My favorite food hangout in Providence is The Ivy Tavern on Hope Street. My husband and I go there once (sometimes twice... or thrice) a week. The food is incredible, and consistent - and how can you say no to the bibimbap, fried wings, and garlic fries?

Essential tip for eating a donut without getting hella sticky?... or isn't there one?!

Screw it, just enjoy the damn thing ;)!

Find PVDonuts online at pvdonuts.com, on Instagram & Facebook, and be sure to join them at their Grand Opening on Saturday May 28th at their new location: 200 Allens Avenue, Providence.

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4 comments

  1. Now that I'm back in New England, the PVDonuts craze is all the rage! Thanks for the insider's look at the creator and her donuts :)

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    1. The donuts are incredible! Lori, the store, and her team keep going from strength to strength- it's so exciting to have them in Providence

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  2. Are your donuts made with dairy?

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    1. Hey! Thanks for reading! I believe that some of the PVDonuts do contain dairy but they also have many options for specific diets- I'd suggest contacting them directly via www.pvdonuts.com

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