Donuts are a pretty big deal around the world, but I’m personally curious as to how some of the globe’s biggest chains got their start in the industry. If you are too, you’re in luck. Here are some of those tales!
This Canadian classic was started by professional hockey star Tim Horton in 1964. Does it get any more Canadian than combining hockey and donuts!? When Horton passed away in 1974, his business partner Ron Joyce bought out the Horton family’s remaining shares of the company for only $1 million. On the plus side, one of Horton’s daughters married one of Joyce’s sons, bringing the Horton family back into the fold (and company fortune!). With Joyce at the helm, the chain slowly spread across the country and eventually outnumbered McDonald’s locations. Now owned by Burger King, Tim Horton’s franchises can be found throughout the United States, parts of the U.K. and even in the Middle East. As of 2015, Joyce has a net worth of $1.2 billion.
One of the oldest donut chains (establish all the way back in 1937) in existence, Krispy Kreme started out as a uncle and nephew operation, first in Paducah, Kentucky and next in Nashville, Tennessee. The franchise even had delivery trucks at one point and hopefully they dropped by right after the daily milk drop off! When Krispy Kreme first came to Canada, line-ups stretched for hours, just to get a bite of the tasty treat. While folks are mostly familiar with the company’s glazed donuts, they also offer a number of other varieties… but everyone knows what brought Krispy Kreme to the dance. Aside from the Great White North, Krispy Kreme has also made its way to countries like Mexico, Australia, India, Colombia, Taiwan, the Dominican Republic, South Korea, China, Japan, and so many more.
Voodoo Doughnut is one of the most unique pastry companies around, with their array of interesting offerings, including the Captain My Captain (with Captain Crunch cereal bits), the Marshall Mathers (with M&M minis), and the Old Dirty Bastard (with Oreo cookies and peanut butter). We’ve now stayed twice at a hotel across the street from Voodoo’s downtown Portland location and have been mesmerized by the constant line that forms in front of the store. Their donut creations are on the edgier side of the ledger, with a couple selections even being banned because they included medication as toppings. The chain currently has four locations, with the first opening in 2003. Although they are relatively young, they have grown in fame quite rapidly.
Established in 1948 as Open Kettle and later Kettle Donuts, founder William Rosenberg finally settled on Dunkin’ Donuts in 1950. His concept came from the success he saw in selling food and drinks at factories and construction sites. Like many other donut enterprises, coffee sales also make up a huge portion of Dunkin’ Donuts popularity and success, despite coffee’s grossness. I can’t recall ever going to a Dunkin’ Donuts throughout my travels around the world, but it is on my ever-growing “To Do” list. Today, you can find Dunkin’ Donuts in 30 different countries (outside the U.S.), which will help in me crossing a visit off my bucket list. One thing that gives me pause, though, is the website DunkinDonuts.org, which allowed customers to complain about the company… before they bought and shut the site down.
Returning north of the border, BeaverTails are flattened donuts topped with a variety of garnishes, such as Nutella, cookies, chocolate, fruit, cinnamon sugar, whip cream, and much more. They are meant to salute one of Canada’s most treasured animals, the noble beaver (I’ll allow you little sippers to make your own dirty jokes here). The first BeaverTails location opened in 1978, in Killaloe, Ontario of all places. The chain can now be found in other parts of Canada, the U.S., South Korea, and Japan. The company enjoyed international attention when U.S. President Barack Obama made it a point to stop at the chain when visiting the Canadian capital. They even created an Obama Tail for the occasion, comprised of cinnamon sugar, maple-flavoured eyes, and a Nutella ‘O’.
Adding some international flair, this franchise, founded in 1981, is based in Australia and has hundreds of outlets across the country. With the Australian market conquered, the Donut King chain has grown into China, which doesn’t seem like the most natural of expansion choices, but I’m not the one who has to explain decisions to shareholders. In 2007, Donut King took part in constructing the world’s largest donut, to celebrate the release of The Simpson Movie on DVD. The project combined 90,000 regular size pastries, a half tonne of pink frosting, and 30kg of sprinkles. The end result weighed 3.5 tonnes and stretched six meters. The effort took 40 people working for nine hours. I only wonder who got to eat the treat at the end of the project!
Flavour Revolution: Apple Fritter Martini
- 1.5 oz Glazed Donut Liqueur
- 1 oz Apple-Cinnamon Vodka
- Top with Apple Juice
- Dash of Maple Syrup
- Garnish with a Donut
There are some other popular chains around the world, such as Churromania in Venezuela, Go Nuts Donuts in the Phillippines, and Mister Donut in Japan, but they had never come into my consciousness before researching this piece. Still, you have to give credit to all those making doughy snacks across the globe!
Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
While this recipe doesn’t call for it, I added a dash of Mrs. Sip’s recently-purchased Apple-Cinnamon Vodka and it was a really nice touch. All the other ingredients came together nicely and although I was worried the martini would be too sweet, it wasn’t. All in all, it was quite delicious and a crowd pleaser!