These guys are nuts for nut-free dough­nuts

An aptly ti­tled bake shop was way ahead of the curve

North York Post - - News - By Jes­sica Wei

What started as a hunch and a sim­ple ob­ser­va­tion turned into a 20-year legacy of amaz­ing dough­nuts (and cakes and cook­ies and breads) at the aptly ti­tled Amaz­ing Donuts. Their shop on Bathurst near Wil­son, known for its gi­ant cake-sized dough­nuts, has com­peted on tele­vi­sion, helped es­tab­lish nut-free bak­ing in Toronto and has re­mained a neigh­bour­hood go-to for sweet sat­is­fac­tion for the al­lergy-sen­si­tive. Found­ing owner Alan Jaff tells us about the ride.

How did you get the idea for al­lergy-sen­si­tive baked goods?

When I was open­ing, some friends of my kids had all of these al­ler­gies, par­tic­u­larly nut al­ler­gies and seed al­ler­gies. It seemed to be an is­sue then. I said, ‘OK, that’s an an­gle we’re not re­al­iz­ing the im­pact it would have.’ We were ac­tu­ally the first nut-free en­tity across North Amer­ica, to the best of our knowl­edge. No one else was do­ing it at that point in time.

What sort of ex­pe­ri­ence in bak­ing did you have back then?

When I started, I had no knowl­edge of how to make a dough­nut. Lit­er­ally the day be­fore I was open­ing, I was try­ing to make them from the recipe on the bag. I didn’t have a clue. Some­body came to the door and said, “My wife and brother can come and show you how to do it.” And that’s how we started. We learned from them, and the rest was his­tory.

Most mem­o­rable mo­ment?

Be­cause of the growth and pop­u­lar­ity of what we do, we were on the Food Network’s Donut

Show­down about two years back. We didn’t win, but some kids from Brazil came spe­cially to our store be­cause they’d seen us on that show. We were the only Toron­to­based store, and they were do­ing some tour­ing in Toronto. They rec­og­nized me, and sud­denly I was like a su­per­star. They got my au­to­graph and pho­to­graph (3772 Bathurst St., 416-398-7546).

Alan Jaff, owner of Amaz­ing Donuts

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