December 21, 2012

Photo by Joshua Edlund

TV host Anderson Cooper and Leigh Kellis, who owns the Holy Donut in Portland, during a taping of the "Anderson Live" show in New York City. The show featuring Kellis and her doughnuts airs at 3 p.m. Monday.

Mainer, her doughnuts to appear on TV show

By Avery Yale Kamila
Staff Writer

A well-known TV host's love of doughnuts has led to national exposure for a Portland business.

Leigh Kellis, owner of Holy Donut on Park Avenue, said producers of the "Anderson Live" holiday special featuring Anderson Cooper wanted to include doughnuts on the show to please Gayle King, co-host of the show and Oprah Winfrey's best friend.

They did a Google search and turned up Kellis and her potato-based gourmet doughnuts.

"They said, 'Could you bring us some doughnuts?' " Kellis said. "I said, 'Yes. When and where?' "

During the show's segment on unusual holiday foods, Kellis makes a cameo appearance with her bacon cheddar and potato doughnuts.

"I was in Manhattan on Wednesday for the filming," she said. "For us Mainers, that's pretty exciting. They gave us the VIP treatment."

The show will air at 3 p.m. Monday on Portland's Fox affiliate, WPFO-TV (Channel 23).

Tom MacArthur, general manager of WPFO, confirmed that Kellis and her doughnuts will appear on Monday's show.

Other varieties served at the Holy Donut are sweet potato ginger, dark chocolate sea salt and pomegranate. The bakery uses Maine potatoes, local eggs and dairy, fruit- and vegetable-based dyes, and natural sweeteners.

Since the shop opened nine months ago, the Holy Donut has had positive reviews, including in The Boston Globe.

Kellis said there is a downside to all the media attention.

"The only problem is, we haven't figured out mail order yet," Kellis said. "It's $100 to overnight a fresh product.

So far, we've only had one person pay $120, to overnight a dozen doughnuts to Pennsylvania."

Even without business from other states, the shop is doing a brisk trade.

"We're making them as fast as we can today and selling them as fast as we can make them," Kellis said Friday. She expected that the shop would make and sell 1,000 doughnuts for the day.

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila

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