About 12 months ago a couple of us made several dozen doughnuts out of a rental kitchen in south Columbia. We took those boxes of doughnuts and hit the road in Columbia, delivering them to businesses in the area. Harold's Doughnuts was born.
Soon thereafter, we built an online doughnut ordering service on our website where customers could go and place orders for delivery. We called this service "Doughnuts to Your Desk"; the idea being people all around Columbia could pre-order boxes of doughnuts and have them show up at their office the next day. Kind of like Christmas Day for doughnut lovers.
After traveling thousands of miles on Columbia streets & building our first retail location in the heart of the city, we are thrilled to bring back Doughnuts to Your Desk one year to the day the first Harold's boxes left the rental kitchen. This Friday, June 19 we'll hit the road again and take another step in bringing Columbia and our loyal customers made-from-scratch doughnuts.
We can't wait to see you on the road!
Happy March Madness, Columbia!
It’s that time of year again where basketball is important for at least one month, unless of course, you are me and you picked out your bracket based on coach nicknames, mascots and teams that share a moniker with streets you grew up on.
(I am going to lose my bracket.)
March Madness can be hard for those of us who prefer to be captivated by other sports, or maybe other hobbies in general. The only thing I know about basketball is that when in doubt, call Bill Murray.
Bill Murray is not on my speed dial, unfortunately, but you know who is? Harold’s Doughnuts! And they are definitely adding to the March Madness fever in a way that’s better than any basketball team could ever do.
They’re hosting a doughnut bracket. It's Doughnut Madness!
That’s right. 64 of your favorite, delectable treats will duke it out for the right to be the champion doughnut (which is better than any basketball championship in my so humble and hungry opinion).
As you can see by how I chose my basketball teams, filling out brackets can be hard. Below, I have compiled a list of doughnut stats to help you on your way to bracket greatness. How does your Doughnut Madness bracket compare?
Glazed doughnuts are classic. Where would we be without the glazed doughnut? Probably nowhere. Though they lack intricacy, their simple and sweet taste never fails to deliver. They are the foundation of the doughnut empire.
Powdered Sugar Hole (16)
Powdered sugar holes are the perfect snack, and they don’t make you feel quite as bad if you eat more than one. The problem? Powdered sugar can make quite the mess. If you’re okay with looking like you got more doughnut on your shirt than in your mouth, than go PSH.
Know what’s better than biting into a doughnut? Biting into a doughnut and finding a jelly surprise. Jam-filled doughnuts are the mullets of the dessert world: business on the outside, party on the inside.
Cinnamon & Sugar (9)
Sweet and spicy, the cinnamon & sugar doughnut offers a combination of the best flavors that will overwhelm your taste buds in the best way. Your hands might end up sticky, but your stomach will be happy.
You can never go wrong with sprinkles. The homemade treats add a pop of color and a little bit of flare. Your mouth might be blue by the end, but it’s worth it.
Glazed Doughnut Hole (12)
The little brother of the glazed doughnut, it has all the benefits, but lacks the size. Be careful. You might overcompensate for what you’re missing.
Apple Fritter (4)
Sources say the apple fritter is the Bentley of doughnuts. The apple fritter is classy, delicious and always worth the extra penny.
M&M Topped (13)
M&Ms are great. They’re like sprinkles, but better because they’re colorful and they have chocolate in them. They add texture to your doughnut in the best way.
Blueberry Cake (6)
Blueberries are great and cake is great and blueberry cake is great and blueberry cake doughnuts are of another world. This combination is a blessing, if you can handle it.
Chocolate Long John (11)
The chocolate long john is a classic. It’s the perfect shape for milk-dunking and it’s got the perfect frosting to doughnut ratio. It’d be hard to pass this one up.
Boston Crème (3)
Here’s a true (biased) fact: BOSTON CREMES ARE THE BEST DOUGHNUT OF ALL TIME. End of story.
Strawberry Cake (14)
We’re here with the cake-doughnut-fruit combo again and it’s a battle of fruits now. Which will you pick?
Chocolate Frosted Cake (7)
It’s like a birthday party on a doughnut. What could be better?
Powdered Sugar (10)
Like the doughnut hole, powdered sugar is delicious. But can you handle the beard you’ll get after?
Old Fashioned Bar (2)
Another classic, the old fashioned bar has everything a long john has to offer, but with a sweet glaze instead. This doughnut is the perfect combination of shape and taste.
Maple Bar (15)
The maple bar adds a little something special to the plate. The maple flavor enhances the typical glaze. It pushes the boundaries of sweetness, so be careful.
Harold’s Doughscuit (1)
Do I even need to explain this one? The Doughscuit is something you never even knew you needed.
Goat cheese Elderberry (16)
Feeling adventurous? Give this unique combo a try. Even if Monty Python is the only place you’ve ever heard of elderberries.
Fried Chicken & Doughnut (8)
Let’s face it. Fried chicken is the new collaborator dish. Put it on everything.
Grilled Cheese Doughnut (9)
If fried chicken goes well with a lot of foods, cheese goes well with everything. You can literally never go wrong with anything cheese related.
Sparky’s Harold’s Hot Doughnut Sundae (5)
What’s better than Harold’s? Harold’s working with Sparky’s. Put ice cream and doughnuts together and that’s where the magic happens.
Cinnamon Toast (12)
Cereal isn’t the only food that can capture this great flavor. Pick this donut to enjoy all the plusses of this great tasting donut minus the milky mess and the soggy cinnamon.
Booche’s Burger Harold’s Doughnut (4)
Booche’s burgers are a staple in this town. Why not eat them at every moment possible?
Mimosa Doughnut (13)
Nothing says good morning like a mimosa. Nothing says great morning like a doughnut. And nothing says best morning ever like both at the same time.
Café Berlin Harold’s Bizmarcheese (6)
Bismarcks are delicious to begin with, and that’s without the cheese. With the help of Café Berlin, this doughnut goes the extra mile.
PIZZA DOUGHNUT. That’s all.
Como Boss Taco Harold’s Taconut (3)
Tacos, like doughnuts, are versatile and delicious. Put them together and they can be unstoppable.
Arnold Palmer (14)
Arnie Palmie alert! Arnie Palmie Alert! Why pay a dollar for an Arnie Palmie when you can just get it in your doughnut instead. This doughnut is summer out of the can and in the dough.
Leslie Knope would be proud. Can’t choose what to have for breakfast? Smash them together and eat them both. Together, they can satisfy any morning craving.
French Toast (10)
Why so many breakfast doughnuts? Breakfast is inarguable the best meal (duh.) The soft, sweet taste of French toast will make this doughnut something you need every morning.
Harold’s Cronut (2)
New York isn’t the only place you can get cronuts! That’s right. Harold’s has perfected the fluffy croissant/doughnut combination and it is not something you want to pass up.
Mojito Doughnut (15)
The refreshing minty taste of a Mojito is the perfect thing on a sunny spring day. Especially if you can have it in your glass and on your plate.
White Chocolate Red Velvet (1)
The white chocolate red velvet is the perfect in every way possible. The combination of flavors makes for a perfect doughnut that is inexplicably delicious. It is otherworldly. A gift from the heavens in dessert form.
Bourbon Glazed Cake (16)
Baking with bourbon is hobby that more of us should take part in. Though the alcohol might be a little strong for some of us, it makes the perfect counterpart for a glazed cake doughnut.
Turtle Long John (8)
They say you shouldn’t try to change something that’s already great, but adding a little turtle to the long john was a genius move. You can’t go wrong with a little caramel and crunch.
Cherry Streusel (9)
The cherry streusel doughnut is the perfect dessert combination of textures and tastes. It’s a pretty basic dessert in a new and exciting form.
The Elvis Doughnut (5)
The King would be going out of his mind if he saw his favorite treat in doughnut form. PB & banana are the perfect mouth-watering combination and will leave you taste buds all shook up.
The best lunch ever just got better. Do you need an excuse to eat more PB&Js than you already do on your college budget? Put it on a doughnut and call it a day.
Blueberry Lemon Citrus (4)
One of the more sophisticated doughnuts of the bunch, the blueberry lemon citrus is perfect for a day at the country club (probably). A refreshing snack, this doughnut will quench your fruity thirst.
Salted Caramel (13)
A carnival in your mouth, the salted caramel doughnut is a sweet treat just like the taffy apples you eat on the Ferris wheel at the fair. It’s a fall day without the leaves and rain.
Orange Dreamsicle (6)
This doughnut is your childhood. Enjoy this doughnut without having to wash your hands after.
Peach Split (11)
This doughnut tastes like southern charm and hospitality. The peach is an underrated fruit and definitely deserves a second look.
Strawberry Split (3)
Like the peach split, but sweet in a different way. Let your taste buds duke it out for which fruit it best.
German Chocolate Cake (14)
A heartier cake doughnut, the German chocolate cake is rich with flavor and will leave you begging for a glass of milk. Can you handle the chocolate overload?
Oreo Peanut Butter (7)
Two wrongs don’t make a right, but two rights make a really good doughnut. These two favorite foods combined help create the doughnut of your dreams.
Black Forest Cake (10)
Unlike the cold cut you know so well, this doughnut sounds a little more mysterious. Do you pick your bracket based on names? This is probably the way to go.
Maple Bacon (2)
Bacon is one of the most important foods on this planet. Pair it with maple and literally nothing else matters.
Cherry Fritter (15)
Second cousin to the apple fritter, the cherry fritter is a little less popular but still has a lot to offer. Just give it a chance.
The Faurotnut (1)
You know what tastes great with doughnuts? School spirit. Help lead your tigers to victory by taking one for the team and indulging in the best doughnut ever.
Dark Chocolate glazed (16)
The health benefits of dark chocolate are unprecedented. Eat doughnuts and be healthy at the same time. It’s a dream come true.
Samoa Doughnut (8)
If you don’t like Girl Scout cookies, you’ve probably never eaten one. Samoas have it all in terms of cookies and are even better put on a doughnut.
White Boa Coconut (9)
If you could squish a pina colada into a doughnut, it would probably be this. If you like getting caught in the rain and you’re not into yoga, this is probably for you.
Strawberry Milkshake (5)
This doughnut will bring all the boys (and everyone else) to the yard because it’s delicious. Eat this doughnut and don’t worry about it getting stuck in your straw.
Key Lime Pie (12)
The zestiest of the group, the key lime pie will keep your taste buds alive and alert through the whole meal. This doughnut is tasty, but with a kick.
Como Smoke & Fire Brisket Kolache (4)
There is no limit to what you can do with dessert and the Smoke & Fire Brisket Kolache proves just that. Whoever said you can’t have doughnuts for dinner is officially wrong thanks to this savory sweet.
Green Tea (13)
The most Zen of the doughnuts in the bracket, the green tea will relax your taste buds and your mind. It might even be good for your health.
Pumpkin Spice Cake (6)
You can almost hear the sound of Uggs being ripped back out of their dark spots in the closets of girls everywhere. That’s right! You can get something pumpkin spice related without it being fall! Take advantage of this.
Fruit Loop Doughnut (11)
Kill two birds with one stone by dunking this treat in milk. That way, you get your morning breakfast and the dessert after (because every breakfast should be followed by dessert anyways.)
Fretboard Coffee Harold’s Mocha (3)
Another collaboration doughnut, Fretboard supplied their delicious blend for our mocha-flavored treat. This coffee doughnut will wake up your taste buds for sure.
Cranberry Orange (14)
Florida in a doughnut, probably. This doughnut tastes like sunshine and happiness (and also tangy citrus).
Harold’s S’mores (7)
All the tastiness of a s’more without the hassle or the mess! Bonus: you also won’t smell like fire for 5 days.
Chocolate Chipotle (10)
What’s better than Chipotle. Not much, if we’re being quite frank. But if you add some chocolate and slap it on a doughnut, it makes a fair fight. Two great things on one dessert. What could go wrong?
Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage Kolache (2)
Not your average pastry ingredients, this Kolache spices things up a bit. If you’re looking for something outside the dessert box, you’ve come to the right place.
Cookies ‘n cream cake (15)
Who wouldn’t want Oreos on anything, tbh? Oreo-flavored anything is a gift to mankind. Don’t overrate them.
And with that, we have the complete analysis of the Harold’s Doughnuts bracket. Take your picks and see if you can make it to the championship! I’ll be taking the Boston Crème all the way to the finish, but tell us about which one you’re picking for the winner and why!
WOW! WHAT A COUPLE OF WEEKS IT’S BEEN! WE AT HAROLD’S DOUGHNUTS COULD NOT BE MORE THANKFUL AND HUMBLED BY COLUMBIA’S WARM WELCOME. WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT THE REST OF THE YEAR HAS IN STORE FOR US!
As you may know, each Harold's doughnut is handcrafted. EVERY MORNING, WHILE YOU DREAM OF BOSTON CRÈMES and apple fritters, OUR STAFF WORK LIKE KEEBLER ELVES TO MAKE ALL THE BEAUTIFUL DOUGHNUTS YOU SEE IN STOCK EVERY MORNING. EVERYTHING YOU SEE IN OUR DOUGHNUT CASE IS HANDCRAFTED – THE SPRINKLES, jam filling, CREAM, GLAZES, and DOUGH.
So, while Iron Chef America makes it seem like such yummy treats can be made in 30 minutes, we take over 12 hours to craft your doughnut from scratch. WE ENJOY THE SATISFACTION OF CUTTING, ROLLING AND CRAFTING nearly 2,000 doughnuts Every day. EACH ONE IS SPECIAL – THESE AREN’T JUST SOME MCDONALD'S APPLE PIES THAT YOU CAN THROW IN A MICROWAVE BECAUSE WHERE IS THE FUN IN THAT, RIGHT?
So, for those of you that have come in (or tried!) and have seen the "Sold Out" sign in the window, we are just as bummed as you that our doughnuts are gone for the morning. But, trust us, we are already hard at work making more for the next day. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALLOWING US TO LOVE OUR CRAFT, COLUMBIA!
New Years Resolutions: they’re a love/hate kinda thing aren’t they? You plan to better yourself and your life in the New Year ahead, but habits and unwanted extra effort make them last about two weeks. There are a lot of different resolutions that I’ve thought about (key word here being thought): stop swearing, eat better, stop procrastinating my homework, write every day, etc.
Maybe the problem with resolutions is that we’re making them the wrong way.
But never fear, Columbians because something really great is about to make your 2015 goals a lot better (and way more fun).
Harold’s will finally be open in the New Year and we can’t wait to make your 2015, and all the years after, really really awesome! Opening day is set for Friday, January 16th!
Because maybe, instead of eating better, you should be eating better. You should be eating things that make you happy. You should eat things that taste not just good, but great. You should eat things that you don’t get to eat other places. You should eat things that are awesome (like doughnuts.)
Harold's will have a full case of classic and craft doughnut creations every day from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. If that isn't enough, it gets even more delicious on Sunday mornings for, OMG, doughnut brunch (the best combination you’ll ever hear of). Think doughnuts and breakfast food all in one. *Drools*
Like I said, you should try new things in 2015. You should experience the ideas of others that you wouldn’t necessarily think of otherwise. You should step outside of your comfort zone (and eat cool, inventive doughnuts) like at the Doughnut Bar, on Thursday-Saturday nights from 7-10, where you can make your own creations! Hang around after for dollar doughnuts, DOLLAR DOUGHNUTS, from 10 – 1 a.m.
You should try and make your community a better place. You should meet its residents. You should support its local businesses (like by visiting Harold’s Doughnuts and meeting the cool staff and learning their even cooler story). Have or know any kids? Bring them by on Saturday mornings for some cool kids themed creation! Like Legos? Play doh? Anything from your childhood? You might find it on your next doughnut (but without the swallowing or stepping on Lego hazards, we promise!).
Maybe I’m biased, or maybe I just know that doughnuts are great and Harold’s is greater and the town of Columbia is the greatest. So why not use your New Years goals on things where you can eat doughnuts and meet friends and go new places?
Harold’s has a lot of exciting new things planned for the New Year and we hope you do too. Get ready, Columbia. We'll see you on Friday, the 16th!
It's just past 6 a.m. when I pull up to the back of the Columbia Senior Center. The sun isn't quite up yet (neither am I) and Columbia still sleeps; yet somehow, somewhere magic has been happening.
Just inside the back doors of the building, a large kitchen is alive and cooking (shameless puns) for three hours already. I ring the buzzer and Melissa, better known as "the Doughnut Magician," answers the door with a huge smile.
If I wasn't awake before, I am now, as the smell of doughnuts wafts through my nose and warms the cold chill that was present in my poorly heated car. I thought 6 a.m. was early, yet the few people running about the kitchen have been here since 3, rolling and cutting dough, prepping for the rest of the week, glazing and boxing finished products.
Melissa immediately hands me a piece of homemade graham cracker that will later be used to make a s'mores doughnut. I understand why she is a magician both because I have no idea where she pulled this graham cracker from and because it tastes just as perfect as the filling she asks me to lick off of a spoon next.
If it were 3 or 5 or 6 a.m. outside, you wouldn't know it. Melissa beams as she tells me about the upcoming opportunities for the holiday season: homemade candy canes, taffy, candy glass, cream, butter toffee, and more (people, those are all going on doughnuts, how can you not beam?). They try at least one new recipe a week (read: experimenting with bacon). I feel myself starting to drool. She continues on about her love of candy and I agree wholeheartedly.
Melissa isn't the only one who lights up the place. Other Harold's employees (the four jammin' in the kitchen this morning) Meggie, Allison, Joe and Keaton share her sentiment. They love the atmosphere of their workplace and the people they share it with. "You get up and get work done with great people," Joe, self-proclaimed King of the Dishes, says.
And how could they not? As the "magic hour" of 4 a.m. reaches, doughnut making becomes much more than a roll of dough and a little glaze. It becomes a show. Melissa says that mornings are usually accompanied by an array of other friends, mainly Celine Dion and 2 Chainz (they need to "keep it fresh!"). In between these, you'll find a few 80's power ballads, some group harmonizing and maybe a few made up words. "You get to know everyone when it's 3 a.m.," Allison, who is in charge of production, says.
As the magic hour comes to a close the kitchen busies itself with preparing for clean up, boxing and finishing any other tasks. Joe mops around the kitchen (and I happen to accidently get in his way every time I move). Keaton decides which taste tests will make for the best end-of-shift breakfast and Meggie boxes doughnuts for the day. Michael, the owner, has come in to grab some orders, talk to other media and check in with his employees.
After one more taste test of cream, they begin to wind down. It's clear to me that this has become a special place and even more clear to me that once the shop on 9th street is open, their own kitchen will be even more so. As I've said before, Harold's mantra is to "Love Your Craft," and the love in this place is as profound as the "My Heart Will Go On" solos they belt in the wee hours of the morning.
I'm unsure of what to boast about more: the doughnuts, the people or the atmosphere, because they are all a string of wonderful cliches that work isn't work if you do what you love and you love doing it and you love the people you do it with.
So I'll leave you with this: everything about these people and this place and what they do is what people dream about when they think about their future jobs. It's what people desire when they think about waking up and heading to the office everyday or when they get in the car after a long shift. It's an ideal, a goal, an accomplishment to be a part of something like this (or to witness it first hand) and it's going to light up 9th street like a ball of sunshine.
They say great things are named for great people.
Natalia Shaposhnikova, queen of the uneven bars, will be remembered for her renowned high to low transitions with the official "Shaposh" move. Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, will be immortalized in the Nobel Peace Prize (don't blow stuff up to be remembered, kids). And Don Faurot, legendary Mizzou football coach, creator of the split-T formation and member of the College Football Hall of Fame will forever be honored as the namesake for our beautiful football field.
Coach Faurot, however, also has a doughnut named after him. (Check out the Faurotnut - it's the best thing since, well, anything.)
And now you can too! Join the ranks of these esteemed humans and have your organization, group, business, etc. create their own doughnut.
*Screams, faints, cries, fans self, posts GIFs to explain unspeakable emotions*
Life is so great, amirite? What's even better, your group will get your unique creation at a discount. Use it to fundraise, be the show-stopper at events and meetings and more!
Now, I won't spoil the fun thinking of weird puns and fluffy, colorful doughnut creations for you, but here are some really weird examples I came up with to get you excited for the amazing doughnut potential that awaits your organization!
Are you in the Bob Marley fan club or really into optimism? Get a Donut Worry, Be Happy!
Maybe you really like the Ninja Turtles (or art), so make yourself the Donutello.
Maybe you're all about the board game life and perhaps a Donut Pass Go, Donut Collect $200 is just what you need for your weekly meetings.
The best part is that you can do way better than these corny examples and spice them up with flavor, design, color, etc.!! Let your creativity and spirit run free (to the doughnut shop where you know you want to be). All you need to do is click here to get started.
Go forth and spread the doughnut love,
Hello doughnut lovers of Columbia!
Welcome to the official Harold’s Doughnuts blog, where I (Hi, I’m Natalie!) have the pleasure of bringing you all things tasty and wonderful.
At Harold’s, our mantra is “love your craft,” which is why I’m here telling you about doughnuts. As an alumnus of the Mizzou J-School, I’ve been taught to write what I know.
I may not be an expert doughnut chef, but I do know that every Sunday when I wake up at home in Chicago, there will be a Boston crème waiting for me on the counter, courtesy of my father, that I will promptly shove into my mouth in one bite. I know that whenever I open the fridge, a box of Entenmanns’s dark chocolate doughnuts will be waiting for me on the lower shelf, positioned just perfectly across the from the 2% milk. I know that up until now, the absence of craft doughnuts in Columbia and on Mizzou’s campus has taken a toll on my well-being.
Most importantly, I know that Harold’s Doughnuts is going to take 9th street by storm one set of taste buds at a time and I’m here to guide you along the way.
Throughout this blog you’ll find new doughnuts, collaborations with other places in the CoMo area (We see you Sparky’s!) and hear about other people who love their craft just as much as we do! I’m looking forward to delivering all things doughnuts to you in the upcoming year and delivering delicious doughnuts to my mouth.
Now before I sign off, here are some important things to know:
1. Doughnuts are actually good for you. Like really good for you. It’s a factual truth that anything that makes you happy doesn’t have calories (especially if you shut your eyes) . . .
2. Which is why you can try our new and upcoming creations including Pumpkin Spice (!!!) and Agnes’ Cinnarollnut, a cinnamon roll doughnut fusion named for Harold’s wife . . .
3. And you can visit the Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ festival to, ahem, MAKE YOUR OWN DOUGHNUTS. People, dreams are coming true over here at Harold’s and we want to share the magic. Our RNBNBB stand will have a fill/glaze your own doughnut station.
And finally, look out for new fall flavors coming soon (think graham crackers, marshmallows, cider, and anything else that makes you feel like you can taste the colors of the changing leaves.) And don’t forget to order doughnuts for delivery to keep you company while you anticipate the open of the storefront on 9th street!
That’s all for now!
XOXO – Doughnut Girl
Thank you Columbia for sharing the doughnut love over the last few months! Since we started this journey last spring, we've visited hundreds of businesses and witnessed countless smiles. We are overjoyed to be able to deliver Harold's doughnuts to offices all across CoMo!
Harold's Doughnuts delivery service will always be available, but you'll soon be able to purchase our doughnuts and much more at Harold's Store in Columbia! Harold's Store will be located in the heart of downtown Columbia at 114 S. 9th St. Please visit our website often and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to be the first to know when our shop will open.
In the meantime, we're expanding our delivery service and adding new doughnuts to our menu! Here's the game plan:
Starting next week (September 23) and until Harold's Store opens, Tuesdays are gluten-less doughnut days! Every doughnut we produce on Tuesdays will include little to no gluten. For now, Tuesdays are the only days gluten-less doughnuts are available. (Our regular creations return to the menu on Wednesday, Thursdays, & Fridays.)
We will continue to operate our delivery service Tuesdays - Fridays every week from 7 - 10 AM. Starting next week, we are expanding delivery to Columbia residences in addition to serving our business customers! Do you live within the city limits of Columbia? Then you are eligible to pre-order doughnuts for delivery at haroldsdoughnuts.com!
We're big supporters of all things Mizzou and are thrilled to offer our unique creation, the Faurotnut, to Tiger fans tailgating before Mizzou football home games! We'll continue to deliver the Faurotnut via our bicycle delivery service to Tiger fans throughout the season. In addition, Mizzou and SEC fans can look forward to "SEC Fridays" starting in October! Stay tuned for more details.
One of Columbia's biggest events is coming up later this month. Harold's will be out in force at the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival at Stephens Lake Park on September 26 - 28. We think you'll love what we have to offer during the festival, so if you haven't already purchased your tickets please do so and enjoy great music and great food!
We're adding new doughnuts to our menu! Please visit our Doughnuts page to view new flavors including Harold's Pumpkin Spice and Agnes' Cinnaroll Doughnut! We'll continue to release new flavors as we prepare to open Harold's Store.
Since we're a local shop, we love partnering with other local businesses. We are so proud to collaborate with our friends at Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream to offer Columbians "Doughnut Saturdays." Every Saturday a new doughnut-flavored ice cream will be in Sparky's shop downtown. Sparky's Ice Cream + Harold's Doughnuts = Bliss!
We're so grateful for our customers and their appetite for our doughnuts! Please remember all orders must be submitted on our website by 3:00 PM to be eligible for next day delivery. We will do everything we can to accommodate all orders while supplies last.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for supporting us and making this doughnut adventure a reality. We are excited to share our store with you very soon. We are so proud to be Columbia's doughnut shop! Forever local!
Melissa Poelling is the heart and soul of Harold's Doughnuts. She greets our incredible staff each morning (we shall not name the hour) with the cheerfulness and exuberance of someone who just cashed in a winning lottery ticket. Melissa Poelling loves her craft.
We love that Melissa is a native Missourian. We love that she culled her culinary expertise not from Hyde Park, but from immersing herself in the art of cooking in her grandparents' kitchen as well as her own. She's as good of a person as she is a cook. And my oh my is she a great cook.
Here's a bit more about Harold's Doughnuts' amazing Doughnut Magician, Melissa Poelling:
How did you become inspired to bake fine pastries?
I love to keep things really simple. I like to imagine the best desserts I have had and come up with ways to turn them into doughnuts. My cookbook collection is ridiculous; I have so many it's almost embarrassing.
I especially love to collect cookbooks from different regions throughout the United States and those I find at various small town church sales. I also shop for unique cookbooks at garage sales and online. I love to collect southern cookbooks. I'd have to say my prized possession - as it relates to cookbooks - is a Junior League cookbook from Baton Rouge, LA, circa 1959.
When or how did it occur to you that crafting baked goods was a vocation you wanted to pursue?
I am passionate about food. I love all kinds of foods the same way some people love sports or shoes. I spent a great deal of my childhood with my grandparents, and I have spots permanently etched in my psyche that are marked with a meal or recipe experienced in their company.
When I think of or smell fried chicken, I recall being completely surrounded by love and remember my grandma on the farm in Kansas. I can see the table set for supper with 9 kinds of pickles, a plate of bread, fresh spring onions, a mounded pile of fried chicken, a deep bowl of country gravy, the counter in the kitchen filled with desserts, and I can hear the faint sounds of Royals baseball on the radio (even though it wasn't supposed to be on). I can remember my grandparents talking to relatives about the "kids these days" and the corn report. I remember being in that place and time and everything in the world was as it was supposed to be.
To answer the question, somehow I think I always knew that food was my answer. I have always been a pretty good cook, but after my grandmother passed in 2001 I knew there was no other life for me than one rooted in food. Cooking for someone is an expression of love. A way of seeing someone and saying I know you are there. I know you have struggled, so allow me to ease your burden for just a moment or two; let me send you back to a time you were at peace and full of joy. Only food does all of that in one bite.
Describe what it feels like to be in the kitchen baking your favorite creations.
Time stops. For that period of time I get tunnel vision and experience pure joy...complete clarity of thought. Knowing that I have done my best and put it into the world.
What's your favorite thing to bake?
Well, that depends. Sometimes I like to bake for myself, but more often I like to bake for others. When it's just for me, I love an old school peach cobbler...the kind that starts with an entire stick of butter in the pan. Or thin and crisp sugar cookies...those are simply incredible!
When I bake for family and friends, I need them to care about what they are getting because if they don't care, I can't make that memory connection. So my favorite thing to make are food memories. If the request starts off with "my grandmother used to make..., and I don't have the recipe" then you can bet I am all in.
So I guess you could say I love to make what you love to eat. I will retool a recipe a hundred times until I finally reach the point where someone says, "this is just how I remember it." I can make macaroni and cheese 500 ways but the only one that matters to me is the one you want to eat. If your grandma made it with canned milk and rat cheese, and I make you a dish with cream and gruyere, it just won't be the same. It will be good, but good isn't what I'm after. Recreating a scene at your family dinner table with a dish that transports you back to childhood is where I am trying to go.
What's your favorite music to listen to as you're cranking out super awesome doughnuts at 4 AM?
Let me be straight: I have awful taste in music. If music were food, most of the stuff I love would be fluffy white bread. I have some moments of depth with the classic 70s R&B, Taj Mahal, Hooker and Heat, Bobby Womack, and Bill Withers. I have the college years filled with electronic dance music, and I have post-college filled with jam bands. Then I have what I call my "southern period" filled with bluegrass and Johnny Cash. I also love pop music. I want my music to entertain me and make me smile. Here are a handful of songs on my morning playlist:
Going Up the Country - Hooker and Heat
Stickshifts and Safetybelts - Cake
Blame it on the Boogie - Michael Jackson
Home - Mark Broussard
Winning - Santana
Can I Kick It - Tribe Called Quest
Gold on the Ceiling - The Black Keys
Hang Fire - The Rolling Stones
Blues Man - BB King
The Joker - Steve Miller Band
What are one or two doughnut creations you're looking forward to making (and Columbians can look forward to eating!) at Harold's? What is it about these creations that excites you?
I am pretty excited about making doughnuts for Mizzou's SEC football games. These specialty creations will use foods that are cherished in the visiting team's respective state or region. I want to offer Columbia visitors a taste of home, so when they lose to our Tigers they won't feel quite so bad.
I used to love to eat fluffernutter sandwiches and that translates easily into an amazing doughnuts. Peaches are my favorite fruit to eat and we are on track for an amazing peach season, so I can imagine a peach cobbler doughnuts and a peaches and cream doughnut with homemade peach caramel drizzle.
I love to make candy as well, so I can imagine some candy-inspired doughnuts with scratch made toffee, brittles, caramels, and nougats. One of my favorite desserts is bananas foster, so clearly that is just begging to be made into a doughnut. In short...GET. READY. COLUMBIA!
What advice would you give to others who are thinking about pursuing the passion as a full-time career?
The age old advice still rings true: follow your heart, don't give up, and keep trying. There will be people who can't wrap their brain around what you want to do or why you want to do it. Don't listen to them. They may be in disguise as the voice of reason or practicality, and in their hearts and minds they may be coming from a place of love. But trust yourself, listen to your voice and just do you.
Passion and love will be the light on your journey. The path is long, winding and full of challenges. You may not end up where you thought you might, but if you are honest with yourself, and authentic in the world, you will absolutely get where you are supposed to go.
Tell us a bit about yourself - hobbies, family, hopes, dreams, anything you'd like to share!
I was named after the song "Melissa" by the Allman Brothers.
I can juggle, hang a spoon on my nose, AND tie balloon animals...just not at the same time.
I once lived in Alaska and drove a snow mobile to work.