Photo of Chef Shalom, Credit: @igot_the shot
Lake Mary, FL sits just outside of northeast Orlando, in Seminole County. The city is small, known mainly as an Orlando suburb, but has been noted as a nice place for foodie’s to explore. Those driving from Orlando to Daytona Beach may notice some of what Lake Mary has to offer along the route. Visitors on an I-4 adventure, the interstate that connects Central Florida from east to west, may stop in Lake Mary’s downtown to shop boutiques and take photos with its picturesque backdrop.
One place I recommend everyone make a stop at is, Donut’ste Doughnuts; a black owned, 100% plant based donut shop, owned by husband and wife: Chef Victoria and Chef Shalom. I visited Lake Mary specifically to check out what they had to offer and I was nothing short of impressed!
I love food, I love sweets, I love donuts and so, when I came across a social media post promoting vegan passionfruit donuts; I jumped into their DM’s immediately. My visit to Donut’ste Doughnuts was on a Sunday morning. I walked in just 30 minutes after they opened and the inventory for the day was already at half. There were faces inside that I saw on social media and people picking up their pre-orders by the dozens.
Photo of Author with a set of 4 donuts, Credit: @igot_the shot
Chef Shalom greeted me, showed me around, and introduced me to Chef Victoria who was taking orders and boxing them up. The energy was so inspiring and the feelings of happiness from those coming in and out could be felt. They had a set of 4 beautifully baked and crafted donuts, totally vegan, set aside for me that consisted of:
- The passion fruit brûlée
- The vanilla bean hunny bun
- The blueberry lemon glazed donut
- The key lime pie glazed donut
Photo of the passion fruit brûlée, Credit: @igot_the shot
“The donut lover in me honors the donut lover in you”, I felt! Every bite was pure perfection. Sweet but not too sweet, fluffy but not too fluffy, and enough for 2 people to have quite the experience with one donut. They say that LOVE is their secret ingredient and I promise, you’ll be able to taste it.
Q&A with the Founders and Chefs of Donut’ste Doughnuts
Inside of the shop, Photo Credit: @igot_the shot
Where you’re from/ where your family is from/ where you were raised/
“Chef Shalom and his family are from New York, born and raised. Chef Victoria and her family are from California, born and raised”.
What you did for work or other businesses owned and worked prior to Donutste
“Prior to Donutste we had various ventures but the most connected work was a private chef company in New York.”
When was the concept born and what was/were the reason(s)?
The concept for the business was created in New York. We shifted to a plant based focus as a private chef company and wanted to create something great.
What was the official birthdate of Donutste?
June 11th, 2017
What is the mission and core values of Donutste?
“Donut’ste means: the donut lover in me honors the donut lover in you. Donut’ste was created with the intention to make the best donut in the world that is also plant based, and for donut lovers all over the world to enjoy whether they are vegan or not.”
Photo of Chef Victoria, Credit: @igot_the shot
What are 3 things people should know about Donutste?
“We believe whatever you create with your hands carries an intention. We are very intentional about the energy, awareness, and love we put into the preparation process of Donut’ste Doughnuts. We want people to feel great about what they are consuming. Eating is very intimate and so, safe handling + safe preparation + love, goes into every batch.
Only The Best Goes In Each Batch. We use fresh ingredients and all of our donuts are freshly made with love daily.
We are offering an alternative option so that people can still enjoy the sweet staple they love.”
What inspires the menu and offerings?
“We create with a focus on freshness and seasonality.”
Are any of your products locally sourced?
“Yes, we do our best to always source locally. We also know where all of our ingredients come from and make sure the quality of the products are in alignment with our brand principles.”
Donut’ste is expanding, what positions will you all be hiring for?
“At this time we are hiring for a Pastry Chef position. The applicants have to have a professional background working with pastries, and we are currently accepting applications.”
How do you all feel about cannabis for wellness?
“We respect everyone’s walk of life and if you love donuts come by and visit us. We have something for everyone.”
Any hemp offerings on your menu/as an ingredient (hemp seeds/milk/ flour)?
“We do not currently have any hemp offerings on our menu at this time because we are a cottage shop.”
The 4 donuts consumed from this visit, Photo Credit: @igot_the shot
Veronica Castillo is a published writer known as the Traveling Cannabis Writer. She was born and raised in Miami, and recently retired from road life after 5 years of traveling the United States and the Caribbean on a mission to learn and educate on all things plant medicine. Though her body of published work is mainly in cannabis, Veronica is passionate about plant based lifestyles. She lost 95 pounds, began her healing journey, and treated her migraines with a plant based lifestyle. Her Where to Eat Vegan Series explores vegan menus and plates, helping travelers navigate their plant based lifestyles on the road. Follow her on IG at @vee_travelingvegcannawriter and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vee-traveling-veg-canna-writer/