From Dockets to Doughnuts

Leslie Polizzotto was a Los Angeles litigation attorney. After moving to NYC, Leslie turned down a six-figure salary to follow her passion: doughnuts.

Leslie Polizzotto was a Los Angeles litigation attorney working 10-12 hours a day at a job she loved. After moving to New York, Leslie turned down a six-figure salary to follow her passion: opening a doughnut shop dedicated to small-batch, handcrafted goodness using elevated, real food ingredients. Her business, The Doughnut Project, is located in West Village, and is run by Leslie and her three female employees. With over $500,000 in annual revenue, The Doughnut Project has reached cult status in New York and beyond.

We sat down with Leslie to learn more about how bande has helped her stay motivated and keep her competitive edge.

Q: What was your favorite sport to play as a kid? 

A: I did ballet and gymnastics.

Q: What gets you excited about working out as an adult? 

A: I have the most beautiful gym in my building, but you couldn’t pay me to go there. I’m very competitive, and in classes that were pre-recorded, I found I didn’t push myself as hard. It’s different with bande. When Bergen calls your name you have to be on it. I was devastated when I couldn’t go to the studio. With these virtual classes, I’m still in the best shape of my life. I eat donuts and drink a lot of vodka, and I attribute my workout to keeping me sane and in shape. 

Q: What piqued your interest in barre and HIIT? 

A: I had taken yoga before, then tried barre and could not believe how sore I was after class. I fell in love with it, but needed more cardio which brought me to HIIT. 

Q: What do you miss about being at a boutique studio? 

A: I miss the camaraderie and friendship—seeing people and talking to them before and after class. 

Q: What don’t you miss? 

A: Walking there, walking home. I spent a lot of wasted time commuting. Now my workout time doesn’t take such a big chunk of my day.

Q: Will you go back? 

A: No, I love my setup. We moved to a bigger apartment with an office/workout room. It’s just easy.  

Q: Which bande classes do you enjoy and why?  

A: Bergen’s HIIT and barre and Julie’s HIIT. Bergen’s hour and a half is very challenging, but I’m off work those days so I can handle it. When working, I like 30 and 45-minute options. I need to try Bergen’s Kickboxing class. I like having something scheduled because I need it planned out. That way, I’m committed. When you have things on your calendar, you do it.

Q: What’s your favorite donut and how many do you honestly eat a week? 

A: I eat 3-4 donuts a week. Peanut butter and jelly is my favorite, and maple cruller is our bestseller. People are nuts for it. They say it's the best doughnut they’ve had in their life. Read more about Leslie’s story and The Doughnut Project here.

Want to give one of Leslie’s favorite classes a try?

Book HIIT with Bergen



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