Two New West businesses joined forces to provide grab-and-go sweet and savoury treats.
Jon Goodridge, who founded Royal City Donuts in 2017, and Dan Birsan, who opened Bruncheria in downtown New West in 2018, teamed up to open Donuteria in October 2021. Since then, Donuteria has been serving up hundreds of donuts daily.
“Businesses, if they work together, they can be more creative,” Birsan said. “They can work faster. In one month, overnight, we build everything. I think more businesses should find ways to work together.”
Goodridge started Royal City Donuts after moving from Vancouver to New West with his wife and deciding the city’s donut offerings were lacking.
“At some point, I just kind of thought, ‘no one is going to do it,’ so I just decided to do it,” he said.
A hairstylist by trade, Goodridge soon became a “weekend warrior” – making donuts out of his kitchen and selling them via online orders, pop-up sales and farmers markets. Last summer, he wholesaled donuts to Birsan.
“I was the first customer that convinced this guy to give me donuts. … I was selling them here,” said Birsan, a Queensborough resident. “I fell in love with his donuts a long time ago.”
After Bruncheria moved to a bigger space in Sapperton in June 2021, Goodridge asked Birsan what was happening with the restaurant’s downtown space and learned it was available. Within a month, Royal City Donuts had rebranded as Donuteria and the two businessmen had developed a plan for the downtown space.
“The vision is grab and go – sweet treats, savoury bites. Every day, every hour,” Birsan said. “We want to be here for afternoon crowds, morning crowds, any time of the day.”
Goodridge originally made Royal City’s donuts in his kitchen, but he relocated to a commissary kitchen in Burnaby when sales took off. Now, the donuts are made in Bruncheria’s kitchen in Sapperton and transported twice a day to Donuteria, where they’re then decorated.
“That’s more of a French/Parisian-style, European-style donut where it is very heavy on the butter – like 25% butter,” Goodridge said. “What that does is allows us to put more fat in the donut without adding extra sugar. So we don’t have a super sweet donut because the idea was to have a very balanced kind of palate that you can put sugar on, but it’s not an overkill.”
Boston cream, tiramisu, jelly, vegan pineapple-filled with toasted coconut and raspberry pistachio are among the recent flavours on the menu.
While Goodridge is “a plain glazed guy all the way,” Birsan said his favourite donuts are the filled variety.
“I like simple cinnamon-sugar but also I like filled ones. I am Romanian – I grew up with a lot of filled ones. Less glaze, more fill,” he said. “It’s a childhood memory.”
Donuteria is currently producing around 400 donuts on weekdays and 1,000 on weekends. Items such as flat breads, a breakfast/egg donut, “donut dogs” and coffee have been added to the menu.
By teaming up with Bruncheria, Goodridge was able to return to full-time work as a hairstylist and to explore other business opportunities. He’s no longer involved in Donuteria’s day-to-day operations, having sold the business to Birsan – but not before getting Donuteria up and running and helping to provide guidance on donut recipes and production.
Donuteria is currently open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily 656 Columbia St.