Food News

Go Nuts for PVDonuts

Good for dunking, dipping and glazing, PVDonuts sets a new bar for gourmet, local donuts


They’re best when they’re fresh off the fryer. Warm, doughy, ready to be glazed. Once glazed and set, that first bite is euphoric, a rarity to experience. I’m talking about donuts, and there is nary a person who can pass them up. Sure we have Dunkies, but Providence has been missing a dedicated donut shop, until now.

PVDonuts is the brainchild of Lori and Paul Kettelle, whose hobby was to try and find the best donut shops around. “In Maine we always went to Holy Donut, whose gluten-free donuts are always better,” Lori explains. “Whenever we came back to RI we wondered why there wasn’t something like that here. So I started playing around with recipes in the kitchen and gave them to friends. Paul said that PVDonuts would be a perfect name.” And the rest is history.

PVDonuts started at culinary incubator Hope & Main and Warren, but quickly outgrew it – like, after a month. The first weekend Lori and her very loyal friends (read: folks with access to fresh donuts) made 11 dozen donuts for two shops. The second weekend they made 24 dozen donuts on Saturday alone, which pretty much tripled their wholesale accounts. Knowing that the fryer at Hope & Main could only fry nine donuts at a time, Lori had to expand, and quickly.

“I used to work with Jen at Sin, and she was looking for someone to rent retail space,” Lori explains. “It was perfect timing. For our opening weekend, our goal [was] to do between 7,000-10,000 donuts. Fourteen hundred people [had] RSVP’d, and 4,000 people [were] interested in the event.” She soon outgrew that space on Allens Avenue in Providence, too, and has now moved PVDonuts to Ives Street on the East Side.  

But let’s talk flavors. This writer’s favorite is hands down the brown butter glazed topped with candied pecans. The brown butter glaze just hits all the right notes, a little salty and a little sweet, and the candied pecans bring in a rustic flavor that just begs to be had with a cup of coffee. Look forward to other varieties like peanut butter and jelly, key lime curd with meringue on top, maple glaze topped with bacon, strawberry glaze, vanilla bean glaze with toasted coconut, I could go on. She’s even working on gluten-free and vegan varieties.

When asked about her favorite flavor, Lori said that although she is still figuring out the recipe it is a chocolate donut with a sea salt glaze. For the love of all things holy I seriously hope she figures out that recipe so I can eat it ASAP. In the meantime, contentment will have to lie in her 24-hour raised brioche dough. With hardly any sugar, and lots of butter, it allows the flavors of the toppings to shine through. If only there were some coffee to complement the donuts. Don’t worry, Lori is offering cold brew and regular coffee. I can’t wait to see what other delectable combinations she dreams up next. 

79 Ives Street, Providence