AUBURN — Not enough people bought potato doughnuts.

The Holy Donut announced it was opening on Minot Avenue in Auburn in September 2020 and announced this week that it’s closing that location. Submitted photo

Just over a year after opening on Minot Avenue, Holy Donut is closing.

CEO Jeff Buckwalter said in a news release that the company was “as enthusiastic as ever about the city,” and appreciated the reception here, but that “the store has simply not met financial projections.”

He indicated the pandemic had a hand in the decision.

“Donuts are meant for sharing, and for grabbing on the go,” Buckwalter said. “When we opened this location in January of 2021, it felt like we were at a point where people would soon be going back into the office, commuting and getting together more in general. But with the way the past year unfolded, we just haven’t seen that trend. If COVID wasn’t the wildcard that it is, we might feel more comfortable waiting it out; but our sense is that some of these shifts will persist for longer than this location can sustain.”

The Holy Donut at Minot Avenue and Hotel Road in Auburn opened in January 2021 in the former Tim Hortons coffee shop. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo

He said Wednesday that the plan is to remain open through Valentine’s Day to give staff time to transition and give customers time to visit before they close.


There are 13 employees at the store. Buckwalter said the company would meet with Auburn staff and help them move into new positions within Holy Donut or elsewhere.

The company’s other stores in Portland and Scarborough are meeting expectations, despite the challenging time, and will remain open, he said.

Holy Donut is also moving ahead with plans to open a facility for research and development, as well as production and a small retail shop, in Arundel later this year.

Prior to Holy Donut, the Auburn store at 848 Minot Ave. had been a Tim Hortons coffee shop.

Buckwalter said the company is working to sublease the space so it “can immediately transition to a new, occupied storefront.”

He said Wednesday that the mayor, city staff and local chamber were all very welcoming when Holy Donut moved to the city.

“We really liked the market; as I indicated, I think our timing was just a bit off,” he said. “I never say never. I’m not here today making any promises, but I do believe in a different time, we could be successful in that market.”

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