Dog-nominated donuts got local tails wagging



Oh Donuts owner Amanda Kinden caused a stir last month when, like an April Fool, she unveiled her latest “brainstorm,” this one aimed at the purring feline in your life.

On the morning of April 1, Kinden posted photos on her social media of a pair of cats heading to town on buster-style donuts with a kibble-filled midsection and — the “resistance paws,” she put it. called – a garnish of glazed sardines and anchovies. Before realizing the joke was on them, Oh Donuts customers left messages for Kinden and his staff like, “Can this be ordered through Skip?” “Are they still available? and “Oh, Buddy would love that!”

The first thing Kim Frobisher did after spotting the Kinden parody was laugh a lot. Then she typed a comment of her own offering a thumbs up for the gag, but added that if anyone was actually interested in donuts for their fur babies, dogs in particular, she and her boyfriend/business partner Kerner Pieterse would be happy to install them.


JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Woof Donuts owners Kerner Pieterse and Kim Frobisher treat their dogs Nubi, 3, left, and Coco, 5, to ‘The Canuck’ donut.

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JOHN WOODS / FREE WINNIPEG PRESS

Woof Donuts owners Kerner Pieterse and Kim Frobisher treat their dogs Nubi, 3, left, and Coco, 5, to ‘The Canuck’ donut.

Frobisher, 35, and Pieterse, 29, are the owners of Woof Donuts, a home-based business that has been barking up the right tree for 18 months. Three weekends ago they were peddling their dog-centric donuts at a big craft sale held near Assiniboia Downs when a man she assumes to be in his thirties passed by and, without reading a sign explaining what their business is all about, commented, “Hmm, you sure have some unique flavors here.”

“He was particularly interested in what we call our Canuck, with bacon and maple syrup,” says Frobisher, seated next to Pieterse at a St. Vital cafe not far from their respective homes. “He seemed so disappointed when we announced they were for dogs. For a second I really thought he was going to say, ‘Who cares? and walk away with a dozen under your arm, whatever.”

Frobisher and Pieterse met at work about six years ago, just when each had just brought home a new dog. It wasn’t long before they were spending their coffee breaks sharing photos of their pooches; Frobisher’s is a Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix named Coco, and Pieterse has a corgi that answers Nubi.

Tired of feeding Coco store-bought cookies containing ingredients she couldn’t pronounce, Frobisher started baking her own preservative-free and sugar-free treats in August 2020. She always made more for Pieterse, who turned around and gave them to Nubi. His dog couldn’t devour them fast enough, he said, which lit a light bulb in his head.




<p>JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS </p>
<p>CoCo oversees an order.”/><figcaption>
<p>JOHN WOODS / FREE WINNIPEG PRESS </p>
<p>CoCo oversees an order.</figcaption></figure>
<p>What if they took what she was doing a step further, making donut-shaped treats instead?  He had a bit of experience with a piping bag, he mentioned, and could decorate them with a yogurt-based frosting containing dog-friendly food coloring to make them as eye-catching as possible.			</p>
<p>“People these days love to take cute pictures of their dogs and post them online,” he says.  “My feeling was that if we could make something that looked super good, and was healthy and nutritious at the same time, it might just take off.”			</p>
<p>Pieterse smiles, noting that it was one thing for Nubi and Coco, who have never come across a piece of food they didn’t like, to give his and Frobisher’s early prototypes a shot;  what they really needed, he thought, were more finicky eaters to convince them they were on the right track.			</p>
<p>Talk about an easy sell;  after spreading the word, many of their friends and family members voluntarily offered their puppies a taste of donuts nicknamed Silly Banana (banana, peanut butter and honey), Nutty (peanuts, beef broth and flakes of oats) and Chicken (chicken broth, peanut butter and whole wheat flour).  As for the latter, Frobisher’s 13-year-old son said that no matter what a dog, he would also be happy to put a few in his lunch bag.			</p>
<figure class=


<p>JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS </p>
<p> Unless they have a sale scheduled to attend, in which case they will spend a few days stocking up, every last donut is made to order.  “/><figcaption>
<p>JOHN WOODS / FREE WINNIPEG PRESS </p>
<p>Unless they have a sale scheduled to attend, in which case they will spend a few days stocking up, each of their donuts is made to order. </figcaption></figure>
<p>“We made some adjustments after all of that,” Pieterse continues, “and at the end of November (2020) we felt we were ready to go. If I’m being completely honest, even I’m a bit surprised by the how well we were received.”			</p>
<p>Unless they have a sale scheduled to attend, in which case they will spend a few days stocking up, each of their donuts is made to order.  Shelf life is about a week in a covered container, double that if you keep them in the fridge.  Again, some customers tell them they keep theirs in the freezer, to distribute as they see fit so as not to spoil Fido too much.			</p>
<p>Only every other day, says Frobisher when asked how often they develop new flavors.  Last July, they released a donut made with blueberries that encompassed freshly picked fruit, and they also regularly bring up those related to holidays and celebrations.  Yes, they know that a dog’s color spectrum is limited to shades of yellow, blue, and purple, and that Lassie doesn’t really care if an “I’m Irish,” a St. Patrick is green and white, or that a The first day of Valentine’s Day – “Don’t Go Bacon My Heart”, they dubbed it – is mostly red.			</p>
<p>“We get that our donuts are probably more for the owner than the dog,” says Frobisher, who last week began experimenting with carob as an alternative to chocolate, which most dogs are allergic to.  “A lot of people who don’t even have a dog will buy from us. They’ll see our booth, say something like, ‘Oh, they’re so cute’, even if they aren’t a pet owner themselves. . , they have friends who are.”  (Woof donuts come in two sizes, regular, about 2.5 centimeters in diameter, for large breeds and mini donuts, ruffled about the same circumference as a toonie, for smaller dogs.)			</p>
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<p>JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS </p>
<p>The finishing touch of real bacon is added to an order of “The Canuck” donuts.”/><figcaption>
<p>JOHN WOODS / FREE WINNIPEG PRESS </p>
<p>The finishing touch of real bacon is added to an order of “The Canuck” donuts.</figcaption></figure>
<p>Frobisher and Pieterse were approached by pet store owners interested in carrying their wares to their shelves.  Maybe a day later, they’ll answer, but for now they’d rather keep what Pieterse calls their “pet project”, no pun intended, in-house.			</p>
<p>“We’ve also received inquiries asking if we ship out of province to Quebec and British Columbia,” says Frobisher.  Again, they hate turning down business, but in order to keep their donuts as fresh as possible, they currently only offer delivery within the ring highway.			</p>
<p>“Although there was a lady who not too long ago drove four hours from northwestern Ontario to pick up a few dozen,” Frobisher said.  “She told us she was doing other errands in town, but ours was her very first stop.”			</p>
<p>Oh, and we know what you’re thinking: this all sounds good and tasty and delicious, but what about bite-size snacks a la Robin’s Eggs?  are they also available to order?  (Ask a four-legged friend.)			</p>
<p>“We actually use a circle cutter to make our donuts, and the middles are worked into the rest of the dough,” Frobisher says apologetically.  “So no, there’s no dough left for something like Timbits.”			</p>
<p>david.sanderson@freepress.mb.ca			</p>
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