Discovering Harold's

Our story began as all of the best tales do: with boredom, a gift from mom and a craving for something comforting and delicious.

In early 2012, with nothing better to do, Michael and Karli Urban began to thumb through an old family cookbook Michael's mother had handed down. There, between the buttery fingerprints and fossilized crumbs of powdered sugar, they discovered a simple yeast-raised doughnut recipe. We unearthed a forgotten fryer and got to work.

Right there, in a warmly-lit home kitchen with butter and sugar and patience and absolutely no expectations, the first batch of Harold's classic doughnuts was born. After the creations were adorned with the simplest of vanilla glazes, we knew we had something special.

That initial batch of nine doughnuts showed us that not only was making doughnuts fun, but that we were pretty good at it. We also believed that Columbia - with its vibrant community and fun-loving citizens - deserved a doughnut shop to mirror its unique spirit. After three years of sporadic scratch doughnut making, we decided to make our vision of Columbia's doughnut shop a reality. We desired to open a shop that nailed classic doughnuts like a simple glazed and chocolate cake and harnessed the basics of scratch-made baking. We also wanted to build a shop that left plenty of room for creative takes on the happiest snack in the world.

This revelation set things in motion. But before it could really get rolling, the nascent idea needed a name. We debated, but then remembered from where this all stemmed. We remembered the old family cookbook, with its crinkled pages and margins filled with notes. We remembered the inexplicable feeling of closeness and excitement that erupted the night we discovered the yeast doughnut recipe. And we remembered our family, those who instilled in us a passion for bringing people together and working hard to make them happy. Specifically, we thought of Harold Meyer.

Harold owned and operated a Western Auto store in New Haven, Missouri. Harold prided himself on making his customers smile every day, and worked to make everyone in the tiny riverside town feel like family. These attributes are exactly what we want to weave into the fabric of Columbia, so we christened our doughnuts as belonging to Harold.

Harold's officially began in June, 2014 as a doughnut delivery service run out of a small commercial kitchen space in south Columbia. As word spread and demand grew, the downtown shop opened in the heart of Columbia on 9th Street in January, 2015 and our newest shop in south Columbia followed in January, 2018. 

Now, we at Harold's favor transparency, attention to detail and love when it comes to our doughnuts and when it comes to our interactions...those with our colleagues, customers and partners. Our story is one of trust and chance, desire and drive. With our tale in mind, we hope you find or rekindle a spark to pursue opportunities and explore seemingly narrow avenues, hopefully with a doughnut (or two!) in hand. Those roads could lead to something incomprehensibly rewarding and delicious.