It was a Sunday hankering for some sweet doughnuts that led New West resident Christina Kendall to start her vegan doughnut business, CC's Donuts.
"My partner and I were sitting on the couch one Sunday, and she's like, 'Oh, man, I really feel like a doughnut'. But we were like, we don't really want to go all the way to Vancouver."
Both Kendall and her partner are vegan, and there aren't many places offering vegan doughnuts in New West, as per Kendall, a transcriptionist by profession.
“There is a bit of a gap in New West (when it comes to vegan doughnut places),” she said. “There was Dipped Doughnuts (in New Westminster) but they moved to Langley. I know that Donuteria has vegan doughnuts, but not consistently. And I know Yum (Gourmet Donuts) was doing them before, but they took them off the menu,” she added.
That Sunday, instead of going to Vancouver (usually Cartems or the seasonal doughnut business Plates by Payts) to buy a box of doughnuts, Kendall went to her kitchen, looked up a vegan doughnut recipe and baked up some cinnamon sugar doughnuts all by herself. “They turned out really well,” she recalled.
“Then I was like, oh, I can do this even better. So I just kept on rolling with it.”
In two months, this pursuit led to her launching a business: CC's Donuts (CC because her children, eight and five years old, call her so).
It was quite a learning curve though — when Kendall had first started making her vegan doughnuts, they had come out “quite dense and quite heavy,” she said. Making doughnuts without using the traditional baking ingredients such as milk and eggs, she explained, could make it hard to get them to rise, and come out fluffy.
So Kendall spent hours in the kitchen coming up with alternative ingredients, and whipping up the “perfect mix” to make her vegan doughnuts light and fluffy. She decided to use oat milk and vegan butter, and is currently experimenting with using aquafaba (a vegan alternative to eggs made with chickpea water) to make them.
The vegan doughnuts taste the same as the traditional ones, Kendall said.
"People who are not vegan wouldn't even notice that they are vegan doughnuts," she said. And for people who are vegan, there’s finally a new place to buy vegan doughnuts, she added. “It's nice that we can get into that market and sell to people that haven't been able to purchase them for a while.”
Kendall's business — inspired by the Vancouver-based vegan doughnut business Plates by Payts which accepts pre-orders and sells them on weekends — is just a week old. And she already has nine orders placed for pickup on the weekend.
Each order includes a box of eight classic cinnamon sugar vegan doughnuts that are baked at a commissary kitchen in New West.
“At the moment, it's just classic cinnamon sugar doughnuts, but I am working on other flavours as well,” she said. “So. probably as a next step, I'll be trying some fried doughnuts with a vanilla glaze and maybe lemon?”