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This article was published 7/1/2019 (376 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
There’s a new sweet spot in Grant Park.
The virally popular shop Oh Doughnuts has opened its second location at 3-1194 Taylor Ave.
Amanda Kinden, owner of Oh Doughnuts, said the business was busting out of its original space on Broadway with staff and customers bumping elbows for space.
"The shop at Broadway is very small, so there’s no seating, a couple of stools, and the kitchen is one table and just enough room for the staff to stand on top of each other," Kinden told The Sou’wester, sitting adjacent to the wide windows of the strip mall. "We were very busy, we could not do more there because it’s just so small."
Oh Doughnuts was cooked up by Kinden in 2014 while she was working a full-time job related to her degree in environmental studies. As a side gig, she would make doughnuts in a shared kitchen and delivered the confections to local coffee shops.
Eventually, the demand for her product prompted Kinden to open a brick-and-mortar storefront on Broadway in 2016. Her doughnuts, in flavours as wild as "Everything Bagel" and "Peanut butter marshmallow square cheesecake" and the familiar vanilla sprinkle and chocolate dip, regularly sell out at the Broadway location and still fill pastry cases at independent cafes around the city.
Kinden, who lives in Crescentwood, said the new retail location will allow Oh Doughnuts to increase its baking capacity and opens the door for new products and markets. It was impossible for Oh Doughnuts to take more than one speciality order per day due to space restrictions at the first location, she explained.
"The overnight dough people start at 9 p.m., so for eight hours they’re using that table, so when the decorators come in at 3 and 4 a.m. they decorate up front at Broadway which really is hard on all the counters and walls. They had to do that because there’s no space in the back for them to both work at the same time," Kinden said, adding that she now employs about 34 people. "The second location is sort of what the first location should have been. It’s almost double the space."
The Taylor Avenue location will also be more convenient for commuters to stop in during rush hour (there’s plenty of unrestricted parking), the shop is open seven days a week, and Kinden anticipates those who don’t frequent downtown Winnipeg may be more inclined to stop by.
"The way that this shopping village, Grant Park Festival, is set up, there are a lot of different businesses that are open at different times of day and they bring different kinds of people," she said. "Obviously I was worried that we would pilfer sales from Broadway, but I do think that we’re reaching a different clientele that we wouldn’t have reached only at Broadway."
With the majority of wholesale orders moved to Taylor Avenue, Kinden said she’s now purchased a hopper to make cake doughnuts in a more time efficient manner, and said long johns and maple bars may appear on the menu in the future.
"It’s weird to think that there’s more you can do with doughnuts, but there’s so many things," she said.
While demand has increased for her pastries, Kinden said Oh Doughnuts hasn’t skipped on using the locally available and organic ingredients that made the business popular initially. They’re also looking at a third phase of expansion that will see Oh Doughnuts’ footprint increase downtown.
"Why I started this is to bring the ‘mouth pleasure,’" Kinden joked. "Making mouths happy is one of my taglines."