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Let's Eat: Doughnuts on wheels (6 photos)

There’s a new food truck in town - and it’s sweet.

The owner of the Mini Donut Shoppe, Justin Stam got the idea for a food truck selling doughnuts a few years ago from a friend who worked at one. “They got to go around festivals and she said it was a fun atmosphere,” he says. The thought stayed on the back burner until he was laid off in March 2020.

An electrician by trade, Stam decided that now was the time to work on his doughnut dream. He bought a trailer in the summer, put in doughnut-making equipment, and started jumping through the hoops to open a food truck business. “I planned the opening in October, but it took a lot more time, work and money than I thought it would,” he says.

The Mini Donut Shoppe finally opened for business on Feb. 15 this year, on Family Day. “I was driving to the location and it was -32. I thought, what am I doing, I must be crazy,” he recalls.

Despite the frigid temperatures on opening day, the Mini Donut Shoppe has gotten a very warm reception from locals. “I had really high hopes, but it’s just been so much more successful than I thought,” he says. “I was able to quit a job a couple of weeks ago, to focus more on the business.”

The Mini Donut Shoppe can be found at various locations around town two or three days a week. “I’m often next to the hospital on Golf Links, K&A Variety in Fort William and at the Delta on the waterfront,” he says. He posts his locations on Facebook, and says social media has been a great way to get the word out.

Stam also takes booking for private events. So far, he’s done a staff event at the law firm Cheadles, the accounting firm MNP and is booked for an event with the Thunder Bay Police Service.

He currently has five part-time staff, and will be hiring more as he expects the Mini Donut Shoppe to be out three or four days a week during the warmer months.

The menu is relatively straightforward - he has two types of fried mini doughnuts; cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar, and he also serves what he calls a “donut poutine.” The flavours of his “poutines” change every few weeks, and currently he has cookies and cream (buttercream icing with crushed up Oreo cookie crumble) and Skor (buttercream icing, caramel and crushed up Skor.)

Stam hopes the future will include participating in festivals and events, once outdoor events such as Bluesfest and Summer in the Park come back. Down the road, he might add another doughnut truck, because “everything happens on the weekend” and there are multiple locations he wants to be at.

“It’s going better than I thought it would; I hope it continues,” he says.

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