“We’ve had people come over to cry because they haven’t been able to have a donut for so many years and they’re very excited about it,” says the owner of a vegan bakery.
The term “herbal” does not necessarily mean bland or boring.
In fact, for a Barrie business, their plant-based coffee and bakery is quite the opposite. It’s bright, cheerful and full of delicious fragrant (and tasty) treats – and, of course, lots of nuggets!
Cheryl McKinlay and her family have been stunned by the response they’ve received since opening the doors to MmmDonuts, their Bayview Drive cafe and bakery, in August 2019. Initially in a 1,350 square foot space with just five of them. between themselves, they jumped at the chance to retake the neighboring unit when the opportunity presented itself.
“It took off very quickly”, she says Barrie today. “When the neighbors moved we took over their unit and during COVID we grew bigger and now have 14 staff.
“We’ve just had wonderful responses from inside and outside our community,” adds McKinlay, noting that their 4,372 square foot space has now allowed them to create much-needed storage areas, a bathroom. dedicated decoration, as well as a production area.
MmmDonuts was born in hopes of filling a much needed gap for local foodies who would otherwise have to go far enough to get herbal treats, she says.
“I have two vegan daughters who would travel far and wide to get their donuts, so I started playing around with a recipe at home trying to make them donuts at home,” McKinlay says. “My husband was looking for a new career and we looked at other franchises, but no one wanted to do it (herbal). I had been cooking since I was little and loved it.”
Her only daughter, who currently lives in Australia, had run a small vegan business in Barrie, so she was used to experimenting with vegan recipes.
“I think we’ve created a great product that even people who aren’t plant-based or vegan don’t even know the difference,” says McKinlay.
They don’t use dairy, no eggs, and no animal products.
“It helps with people’s allergies – So it’s not just about vegan diets, but also for people with food allergies to milk or eggs. … They’re huge allergens, so it’s a treat for them, ”she says. “We’ve had people come over to cry because they haven’t been able to have a donut for so many years and they’re very excited about it.”
On an average day, MmmDonuts has up to 20 different flavors – classics like chocolate or vanilla dip with honey and coconut ice cream. On Fridays and Saturdays, however, they like to stir and include ‘crazy’ flavors, like peppermint stick or toffee cappuccino.
“We have a menu that lasts about two months, then we change it, but we still have the standard chocolate dip, vanilla, maple, strawberry, cinnamon twist. – All the time. The girls have a lot of fun creating new flavors and creations. They’re both very creative girls, so it’s perfect for them, ”McKinlay says. “Our staff also have their say and create their own flavors. “
They’re also handmade every morning, she says.
“When they’re made by hand, it’s totally different from a machine that makes them. You can’t compare, ”McKinlay says. “We’re here at 3:00 am, then the fryer comes in at 4:30 am… and they usually decorate at 5:00 am. “
McKinlay attributes the bakery’s success during the pandemic to their ability to move quickly to online offerings, and although they briefly offered delivery, the popularity ended up being a bit too much. – with customers requesting deliveries to Oakville and Mississauga – that they eventually switched to the curbside pickup option instead.
MmmDonuts is located at 240 Bayview Dr., Unit 11, South Barrie.