Vegan donut company an instant hit in Bangor

Long-time friends band together to form The Donut GroVe
The Donut GroVe
The Donut GroVe(WABI)
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 4:03 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - When one Bangor woman couldn’t find a vegan donut around town, she decided to make them herself. Now, with the help of a group of long-time friends, her business is taking off.

Tiffany Harris has been a vegan for five years. Finding food to fit her diet hasn’t always been easy.

“I would go visit my daughter in New York City, and they had plenty of options there. I would come back here and I would be trying to make things that I saw there or had there. So I started making these yeast-raised donuts,” said Harris.

In addition to the yeast donuts, Harris added a classic cake style to her repertoire as well. They were an instant hit, even with her non-vegan friends.

That’s when Harris had the idea to expand her baking into a business.

“And so when I went to my friends and said, ‘Should we do this?’ Harris explained.

“We were like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it!’ said Tracy Vassiliev, one of those friends.

Harris, her cousin Helen Curran, and Vassiliev, all former classmates at Old Town High School, banded together to create The Donut GroVe.

“Grove” is meant to conjure images of trees, giving the company an earthy feel. The capital “V” emphasizes their vegan origins.

After months of planning, they officially launched in January.

“We really talked about it and we said, ‘We’re gonna do this slow. We’re going to do this little by little, we’re not expecting any income.’ And, it’s worked out,” Vassiliev said.

“It actually has made our friendship deeper. We’ve grown to know each other a little bit more, we are creative together. It’s a nice process,” Harris said.

It didn’t take long for customers to catch on.

“The first week we were there [at the market] the whole time. But then the second week we started selling out. Then the third week we started selling out in an hour and a half. It just built from there,” Vassiliev said.

Every week, they’re in the Fork & Spoon kitchen in Downtown Bangor whipping up about 500 donuts to bring to the Bangor Farmer’s Market on Sundays.

Thanks to their success, they’ve begun offering delivery to Bangor and Brewer-area businesses on Fridays, too.

“We were thinking there might be people that can’t get to the farmers market on Sunday. So, we thought this might be a good way to capture businesses and people that maybe want to have them for a coffee break or whatnot. It was the next step for us to sort of build and grow,” Harris said.

To order for delivery or pickup, visit The Donut GroVe on Facebook.

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