“When I first got to Newfoundland, I heard some guy on George Street say that he was going to go home and ‘pack da hole off the missus’” says entrepreneur Amanda Bulman. “And I thought, that would be an amazing name for a doughnut company!”
Since that moment of inspiration, the name has gotten workshopped, but the idea remained: The Holy Grail Donut Shop has hosted several pop-up events in St. Johns, and Amanda, along with her business partners Justine Thompson and Nick Van Mele, is ready to take weekend mornings by storm.
“What do you want to eat on a Sunday morning?” asks Nick. “After you’ve maybe been out drinking, or you’ve had a long week at work…”
“I want to eat fat and sugar,” answers Amanda.
“It’s a Sunday morning thing,” agrees Nick.
They laugh as they recite their mission statement: “Our goal is to reinvent the iconic Canadian donut.” What that statement means, they don’t quite know, but the trio of CFA chefs are happy to keep trying.
“I either want a really classic donut like a vanilla glaze, or something that’s going to blow my mind,” says Amanda. Justine prefers the chocolate glazed filled with peanut butter mousse, and the bacon with maple glaze. Nick likes the lemongrass ginger cream with a spicy icing and cilantro sugar — which is like Tim Horton’s via Thailand.
“We’re currently without a storefront, but we are rotating our pop-up business among different downtown business locations,” says Justine, who adds that they have a dim sum lunch planned for early 2016. “So far, we’ve had successful days at the Sprout and the Vinyl Room at the Reluctant Chef. It’s very cool of these established businesses to support young entrepreneurs and it’s been an exciting way to make business connections!”
One of those business connections is Julia Bloomquist, owner of The Sprout, who has already helped two other pop-ups (Mohamed Ali’s and Poyo) get a leg-up. Amanda (a self-described serial entrepreneur) was psyched to absorb some wisdom related to making it work in the St. John’s marketplace.
“I sat down with her just to talk about how she got The Sprout off the ground and to really pick her brain.”
Along with sage advice, Julia has provided a platform for their pop-up and an occasional borrowed cup of milk for the doughnut biz.
At present, it’s been easy like Sunday morning for the pop-up, aside from a few all-nighters and some vegetarian taboos being broken when slabs of bacon showed up in The Sprout’s kitchen. They’ve managed to balance the karmic culinary scales by offering vegan, egg-free, and lactose-free options.
To find out about the The Holy Grail Donut Pop-up Shop’s next event, check them out on Facebook.
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