Peace, Love and Little Donuts brings funky to Kent


Alex Stayer (left) and Donnie Cuthbert (center) add the finishing touches to customers’ orders at Peace, Love & Little Donuts in downtown Kent on Friday, June 10, 2016.

Cameron Gorman

Peace, Love and Little Donuts, a psychedelic, ‘70s-themed donut shop, opened the doors to its downtown Kent store last month.

Kent joins a growing list of Pennsylvania and Ohio locations—such as Hartville, Cleveland and Hudson—and has already experienced a storm of community interest.

“You see a lot of peace signs, a lot of ‘70s vibe just from the history of Kent,” said Ann Young, area manager of the chain’s Kent and Hartville locations. “I think it’s a perfect fit.”

Located next to GracyLane on Erie Street, the shop offers a wide variety of miniature donuts. The treats are made and topped daily, right in front of the customer. A glass-fronted toppings bar allows patrons to watch the tie dye-clad employees prepare their food, and to follow the journey of their dessert from fryer to frosting.

“The level of excitement just from little kids up to older people … is fantastic,” Young said. “They’re just so happy. They come in, and they’re like, ‘I don’t know what to choose,’ you know, overwhelmed, and we’re like, ‘It’s okay, you can’t make a bad choice.”

There are three categories of donuts offered: “Groovy” donuts, with only classic toppings such as powdered sugar, honey or glaze, “Far Out” donuts, with frostings such as mocha, vanilla, lemonade and strawberry, and “Funkadelic” donuts, with both toppings and frostings that can create interesting combinations such as salted chocolate, maple bacon, s’mores and apple pie.

“Our shop is very unique because we make our donuts fresh, all day, every day,” Young said. “It’s just about the great product and customer service. Just being friendly and open …  people don’t get that nowadays. You go to a store and people barely look at you when they wait on you. We just want to be very friendly and fun.”

Since its opening in Kent, people from the city and surrounding areas have frequented shop, all looking to “feed their inner hippie,” as the store’s tagline urges.

“Because they’re smaller you can get different flavors,” said Jordan Burman, a senior special education major at Kent State.

Burman purchased Boston cream and key lime pie donuts.

“I like the variety (and) how you can pick your toppings,” repeat customer Heather Bockmiller said. “They’re really good, and they’re not (really) big so they’re just like a nice little snack.”

The positive atmosphere and upbeat outlook of Peace, Love and Little Donuts even seems to stretch to the employees.

“I was in insurance, and that’s kind of a negative field. A lot of people don’t want to talk to you about insurance—but people want to talk to you about donuts,” Young said. “I like talking to people, seeing what their stories are, and they come back and you develop these relationships through donuts.”

Danielle Antonucci has worked for the dessert chain for ten months—at the Kent and Hartville locations.

“I thought it would have been a cool job,” Antonucci said. “I love seeing the kid’s faces when they see me making the donuts.”


Some of the out-of-the-box flavors even require a bit of an open mind.

“I really love the maple bacon, because it’s so different,” Young said. “(We) always tease people and say it’s a life-changer once you taste it.”


The extra time and effort that goes into making the donuts in store shows not only in their unique toppings, flavors, and fresh-from-the-fryer warmth and taste, but in the atmosphere of the store.

“It’s just something that makes you feel good, and the ‘70s (was) all about feeling good,” Young said. “People come in here smiling and they leave smiling so it’s just an awesome experience.”

Cameron Gorman is a reporter for the Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]