The Holy Donut – a worthwhile pilgrimage

There are a lot of reasons to visit Portland, Maine, but the gluten-free donuts at The Holy Donut just might be one of the best. Founder and fellow celiac Leigh Kellis started the business in 2011 after her craving for a satisfying, melt-in-your mouth donut led her to own kitchen. After much trial and error, she perfected a recipe that included Maine potatoes, local eggs, local buttermilk, King Arthur Flour, and other fresh ingredients. Today she has three locations, 80 employees, and a cult-like donut following.  The best part?  She makes them gluten free, too!

Fortunately, for us, Leigh takes great care when making the gluten-free donuts. They’re prepared at only one location in a dedicated fryer using specified glazes, under the supervision of an employee with celiac herself. In the stores they’re displayed above the traditional donuts (see photo right), and are regularly tested to be under 2ppm. Even donuts that sat out for half the day tested at under 2ppm. The Holy Donut is not a dedicated gluten-free facility, but Leigh’s efforts to provide safe donuts and her willingness to be transparent with her process is noted and very much appreciated by us and the rest of the celiac community. Other restaurants and bakeries, please take note!

All Holy Donut locations are 100% free from soy and nuts, and they only use food coloring from fruit juices or vegetable dyes. Gluten-free donut flavors include cinnamon sugar, dark chocolate and glazed. The glazed flavors vary; call before you go for today’s offerings.  Check The Holy Donut website for more details, and be aware that the stores close after all donuts are sold.  (translation: GO EARLY!)


Photo: Gluten-Free Reality

The Holy Donut
194 Park Ave. 
Portland, ME 04102

The Holy Donut
398 US-1
Scarborough, ME 04704

The Holy Donut
7 Exchange St.
Portland, ME 04101


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