These guys are nuts for nut-free doughnuts
An aptly titled bake shop was way ahead of the curve
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