Food & dining

Food & Travel

These doughnuts are a little over the top — and people are eating them up

PVDonuts offers fluffy, brioche-style rounds that are on the larger side.
PVDonuts offers fluffy, brioche-style rounds that are on the larger side.

PROVIDENCE — It’s an extreme take on the Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich, and somehow it all fits onto one doughnut. There’s cranberry glaze, fried chicken, scoops of mashed potatoes and stuffing, and a drizzle of gravy.

Lori and Paul Kettelle’s Friendsgiving Donut became an instant sensation when they posted it on their Instagram feed in 2016, a couple months after they opened PVDounts.

“It went viral, and now we have to do it every year,” Lori says of the creation, made in collaboration with Providence restaurant Bucktown. They will be whipping up least a thousand of them this year to sell at their shop the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

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The Kettelles have set themselves apart in the crowded specialty doughnut market by being, well, just a little more over-the-top than everyone else. Their fluffy, brioche-style rounds are on the larger side, and adorned with elaborate toppings, from stacks of mini pancakes to slices of housemade chocolate cake. Some of their more extreme doughnuts, such as a version dotted with a French macaron and a bit of cake, resemble plated desserts. Think of the overnight proofed pastry dough as the serving vessel.

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“It’s all about how can we make this ‘extra,’ ” says Lori, who studied pastry arts at Johnson & Wales. She oversees the culinary aspect of the business and her husband, Paul, focuses on the operations side.

The shop’s independence has given them the freedom to let loose creatively, Paul says. After being denied for loans, they funded PVDounts themselves using a combination of savings, credit cards, and wedding gift money. “A lot of people actually laughed at us before we started,” he says. “They said, you’ll never make it with Dunkin’ on every corner.”

But a couple years in, they still regularly have lines outside of the shop on weekend mornings, employ more than a dozen people, and sell out often. Their success recently allowed them to expand into a space next door to build a larger kitchen.

“With that extra room, we’ll be able to keep pushing it,” Paul says.

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PVDounts’s flavors rotate every month, and many are seasonal. November’s line-up included pumpkin pancake, flourless caramel popcorn, and maple chai.

Last March, the Kettelles found particular success with their ’90s menu of doughnuts inspired by nostalgic treats, including Dunkaroos, Cosmic Brownies, and Hawaiian Punch. The Dunkaroos version proved to be so popular that they now offer it once a week.

That’s not to say every creation they come up with is a winner. Watermelon and cotton-candy doughnuts just don’t work, Lori says.

“I would definitely do a lobster roll one though,” she adds.

79 Ives St., Providence, pvdonuts.com.

Jenna Pelletier can be reached at jennapelletier@gmail.com.