Carol Ha and Bill Kelly have made a name for themselves in the Philly food scene. Photo: Okie Dokie DonutsCredit: Neil Santos.
Carol Ha and Bill Kelly have made a name for themselves in the Philly food scene. Photo: Okie Dokie Donuts, Credit: Neil Santos.

The owners of Okie Dokie Donuts are sharing their homemade pastries with Philly locals all over the city

In adjusting to solely takeout service amid the pandemic, the donut shop saw a major increase in sales.


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We all know that donuts are something that everyone loves.

Whether you are on a strict diet wanting to cut off carbs or want to limit your sugar intake, no one can truly resist a deep-fried, fluffy pastry that is filled with buttercream, jelly, or chocolate.

Sinking your teeth into a piece of heaven is perfectly acceptable for anyone at any age and Okie Dokie Donuts in South Philly has what it takes to entice its customers.

The wholesale bakery, which is pretty new to the game, has managed to gain plenty of fans with its gluten-free treats.

Bill Kelly, co-owner of Okie Dokie Donuts told AL DÍA News that going gluten-free came down to his partner Carole.

“Carole had a good friend whose entire family had a gluten allergy, and that inspired her to go gluten-free,” said Kelly.

By that time, Ha was learning how to bake on top of being a sous chef at Walnut Street Cafe. 

Kelly was also working full-time as a photography professor while they were planning and saving for their prospective business.

“We never asked family members for money, we did all of this on our own,” said Kelly.

Like many other food businesses, Kelly and Ha’s venture started by doing pop-ups at facilities throughout the city on the weekends.

“We soon started doing wholesale business and leasing a kitchen full-time,” he said. “We started selling our donuts to 12-15 coffee shops around Philly.”

Things were seeming to fall into place until the COVID-19 pandemic hit Philadelphia in March 2020.

“We closed for two weeks and started coming up with a plan,” said Kelly.

It was a devastating time for them, but they soon found themselves wanting to serve their artisanal donuts to communities, so they thought of a plan that would provide locals with their specialty pastries while maintaining social distancing.

“We built a walk-up window, so people could pick up their donuts, we also provide contact-free delivery services,” he said.

On top of providing a unique spin on classic donuts, Kelly and Ha managed to hire five additional staffers for their business.

“We feel very blessed to adapt our business model very quickly,” he said.

Their business grew exponentially up to 400%.

Now, Okie Dokie Donuts is busier than ever. They make the effort of switching up their menu monthly so customers can have some variety. Okie Dokie Donuts also puts the effort in providing vegan donuts.

“We have six new flavors,” said Kelly.

One is a tres leches donut in a nod to the traditional Hispanic dessert.

Ha begins creating the masterpiece by spicing the dough with vanilla and nutmeg. She then deep-fries the donut, soaking it in a milk bath, and coating it with a tres leches glaze, whipped cream, and more cinnamon.

“That’s definitely one of our best sellers,” he said.

Another winning donut is the vegan mocha donut, made with a chocolate espresso donut cake, espresso glaze, and chocolate sprinkles as the finishing touch.

Check out more of their menu here and support the local donut shop.


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