Matthew Garrett of Moonshine Doughnuts has a guilty pleasure. Every Sunday, he gets a fritter from Safeway – it’s his favourite type of doughnut. However, he and partner, Simon Underwood, had never been able to introduce a fritter at Moonshine Doughnuts because the shelf life of a deep-fried doughnut is too short for their pop-up and farmer’s market-based business. Enter Doughnut Party, Garrett and Underwood’s new brick and mortar space in Holland Plaza.
Where at Moonshine, new and exciting flavours were frequently introduced, there were certain limitations and restrictions, but, at Doughnut Party, all bets are off. “We wanted to be able to play with every single ingredient, and that’s really something that I love to do,” says Garrett.
But bringing new techniques and ideas to the public meant thinking a little bit outside of the (cardboard) box, with an entirely new brand.”We knew that Moonshine Doughnuts had a huge following, but we wanted to create a different type of product, and we were scared that if we carried the name over people would have an expectation of what the product was going to be,” says Garrett.
It’s easy to see why the expectations behind Moonshine Doughnuts are hard to shed. For years, it’s built a loyal following in Edmonton on the basis of its vegan, baked doughnuts. Garrett and Underwood even competed on Food Network’s Donut Showdown in 2014. But the launch of one doughnut company doesn’t mean the end of the other, according to Garrett. “They’re like sisters. They live in the same house, and have the same parents, and they like all the same things, but they just have different personalities.”
And, he’s finally able to pay tribute to his favourite type of doughnut. “That’s kind of our goal, to bring the biggest, fattest, most delicious fritter to Edmonton,” says Garrett. So far, the offerings have included a rhubarb cardamom fritter and a pineapple lemon fritter, but the menu is always changing and the possibilities are endless. “Edmonton is very hungry – pun intended – for something new and exciting,” says Garrett.
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