Seaver’s recipe for success involves more than just fresh pies and hot doughnuts

Tri-Cities Original

Seaver’s Bakery has figured out the recipe for success.

At the company’s Kingsport location, doughnuts roll off the production line fresh, hot, and baptized in a cascade of glaze.

But Seaver’s is about something more than just golden fried dough.

“Our story is one of hard work, work ethic, and achieving goals,” said Anna Hite, whose grandfather — Ralph Coomer — had a core belief when he opened a doughnut shop, a Krispy Kreme franchise operation, on East Center Street in 1968.

“It’s ultimately about the customer,” Anna told News Channel 11’s Josh Smith.

Ralph Coomer

That core value lives on with the third generation of family members who work there everyday.

“I learned a ton from him growing up in that kind of environment,” Anna added.

Anna Hite loads of box of doughnuts

In the early 1990s, Ralph purchased Seaver’s Bakery in Johnson City, another family-run business that had become well-known for its fried pies since it opened back in the 1940s.

For years, the Johnson City pie factory and the Kingsport doughnut shop operated independently. That changed in 2009 when the family decided not to renew its Krispy Kreme franchise agreement and instead expand Seaver’s Bakery to the Model City.

The Kingsport doughnut shop changed from Krispy Kreme to Seaver’s.

“We decided it’s much better to be truly local and continue the Seaver’s bakery tradition that’s been in place since the 1940’s,” Anna said.

The signs and recipes may have changed, but the family behind the longtime doughnut shop has not.

The Seaver’s Pies?  They’re sold in Kingsport and at markets around the region.

“Most popular definitely is apple, cherry, and chocolate,” Anna said. And although the most popular doughnut is glazed of course, Anna says they still like to get creative.

“The sky is the limit as far as flavors go,” she said. “We’re always looking for the next cool, fun thing to offer our customers.”

Which is how Ralph Coomer would have wanted it….with the focus on pleasing the patrons.

“The only reason we can do what we love doing here is because of our customers,” Anna said.

Seaver’s Bakery makes an average of 240,000 doughnuts per week at the Kingsport location.

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Born and raised in the Tri-Cities, Josh Smith has been a member of the WJHL team since 1999. His family roots go deep in the region, and he’s traveled through almost every part of it covering news on local TV since 1995. When he’s not on the job, he’s with his wife, two sons, and daughter.   “They’re the best part of me,” he said.   You may run into them biking on the Tweetsie Trail, hiking around Bays Mountain Lake, or browsing the shelves at the local public libraries.

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