About Us

donna kay sourdough bread and sweetsDonna Kay has been baking sourdough bread with her top secret starter since 1987. What started out originally as sharing home-baked bread for family, friends, and church functions quickly blossomed into a small business with a presence at many local farmers markets, roadside stands, restaurants, and special events. 

Today Donna Kay’s Breads and Sweets can be found at many markets, restaurants, and special events. You can meet up with Donna herself at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market (Area 2, Space 75) Wednesdays-Sundays from 10AM to 2PM. Come by and say hello! 

Our History: 

  • 1987: Donna Kay uses original sourdough starter to make bread for family and church functions.
  • 2005: A discussion with a gentleman from her church (who was a big fan of the sourdough) suggested Donna start selling them. He sat down with her and gave her a breakdown of all the elements associated with starting a bakery business.

“I never really thought that I’d get into the bakery business though I like to bake and I knew I was good at sales. I consider myself more of a country cook (to this day I don’t do a lot of decorating, because it takes more patience which I don’t really have a lot of). I’ve always gone by the mantra of doing whatever you’re passionate about and the money will come. From there I started selling my bread at church, for special occasions, and to friends or family.” 

  • 2010: Started selling at the Asheboro Farmers Market
  • 2011: Expanded to the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market along with other local markets along the way. As sales expanded, Donna started being invited to different venues including the Lexington BBQ Festival and Tanglewood.
  • 2022: Launched new website to start offering breads and sweets to people outside the NC Triad as well as current happy customers who want to order ahead for local pickup / delivery.

Where Donna Kay’s Recipes Come From: 

“I eat everything that I prepare. You can’t sell something if you don’t like it. And there are some things that I like a little bit more, which is usually how they end up on my menu.”

Sourdough Breads

When she got the starter in 87’ there was a great recipe for original sourdough that Donna Kay still uses to this day. 

For the cinnamon raisin sourdough, Donna's mother-in-law adapted the original sourdough with a cinnamon raisin bread recipe to take to her friends at the assisted living facility. 

For the Italian sourdough bread, Donna Kay's daughter Whitney asked for an Italian-themed graduation dinner, so she played around with incorporating different savory flavors, cheeses, herbs and spices. Everyone loved it so much that it was the only item on the dinner menu that was completely gone by the end of the meal. 

Pound Cakes

Most of Donna Kay’s pound cake recipes originated from a local cake lady who was moving her business to Maggie Valley. Before she left she offered “I’ll give you all my recipes” because she wouldn’t be a competitor if their bakeries were farther apart. 

Carrot Cake

In 2020, one of my customers at the farmer’s market gave me the carrot cake recipe that had been passed down from his family from Italy. It was so delicious and rooted in history across continents that Donna decided to make it a regular featured item. 


Came from Donna Kay’s cousin Mark. One day, sitting out on the front porch together, he told her he had this great brownie recipe. After making it for the family, her nephew Kenny couldn’t get enough of them.  

Millie’s Apple Nut Bars

The recipe for the apple nut bars came from Donna's adoptive mother Millie, who is a regular at the farmers market and can be found helping out on Saturdays just for fun! Customers love her, in fact some refuse to talk to anyone else!

Peach Cobbler Pizza

Donna had been invited to the Peach Festival down in Candor NC and they had asked if she could do something using peaches besides the Peach Bread. After the discussion, she was driving down the road thinking how she could do something different that could still use the sourdough dough along with peaches and had known about these fun dessert pizzas. What a tasty combo! 

Quick Breads

For the quick bread recipes, Donna Kay started doing banana first because it is by far the most popular option. From there she wanted to incorporate seasonal fruits and vegetables so she adapted the original recipe for the others (except zucchini pineapple which came out of her church’s cookbook). 


The cookie recipes came out of customer’s asking for different types of cookies out at the farmers market. Most of them came about through trial and error / experimentation. 

How The Sourdough Is Made: 

Donna Kay has been feeding her original starter for over 35 years (since 1987). The starter is the bread (no pun intended) and butter of her sourdoughs, it makes a bread like no other! To feed the starter, I use potato flakes, sugar and warm water (as opposed to the alternate bread and water feed). 

Once fed, she let’s it sit out and come to room temperature for 8-12 hours. Then she mixes in the flour to make the dough and that sits out for 1-2 days. Then we shape the dough, put it into pans, and let sit for another 2 days. The added time makes for a super soft and fluffy finished product. Finally, after 3-5 days from start’er’ to finish, the bread gets baked. 

Ingredient Sourcing: 

Fresh produce used such as peaches, pecans, zucchinis, apples, strawberries, and other specialty items all come from other local farmers. Most standard ingredients such as bread flower, eggs, spices, etc. are bought at local grocery stores. 

Why We Don’t Do Gluten-Free: 

The tale of Cookie the Dog… Out at the family farm, they have a dog named Cookie. Cookie is a chocolate lab who, like most labs, will eat almost anything you put in front of her (edible or not). 

“I have tried several times to create a gluten free bread and have created some tasty results, but only when hot. After that, they seem to lose their flavor and texture. One day a few years ago I was experimenting with a gluten free recipe that was pretty good out of the oven but after it cooled off I couldn’t take another bite. We regularly feed the dog table scraps so I told him to take the gluten-free bread out to Cookie. 20 minutes later my husband came back into the house laughing and said ‘Cookie buried it.’” 

Donna Kay’s Throughout The Season: 

From Spring to Fall we are in full fledged production of most of our standard recipes. Throughout the year we will introduce short-term offerings when certain fruits and veggies are in season (peaches, apples, strawberries). Because there’s not a lot of people out at the farmers markets during the winter, we typically take that time to do research and development on new recipes to offer when Springtime rolls around again.