It’s obvious that Vancouver loves their sweets. With specialty ice cream and doughnut shops popping up all over the city, Glazed and Confused is no exception. Sheena’s doughnut cart does stand out, however, by using a totally unique recipe and a business model that is geared to helping people living in the DTES. We recently sat down with her to talk about how she moved here from Toronto to try her hand at something new.
I’m Sheena and I started Glazed and Confused which is a doughnut bicycle cart.
Probably about 4 months ago? I got into the YMCA Youth Mean Business Program which is a government grant program that helps people under the age of 29 to start up small businesses. They really helped me get my business started and the rest just kinda happened.
Oh because I hated the corporate life, haha! I was working at a cool job but I felt like there was something missing. Vancouver was a place that I’d always wanted to see so I just sold all my stuff and moved here.
No, I didn’t! The Standard bicycle repair shop had it in their shop but it took up a lot of space and they kinda wanted it out for the summer. I thought maybe I could start the business on it so I just drop some doughnuts every once and a while like a payment plan and they kinda just gave it to me, haha. It’s a monster of a cart.
Yeah, I completely made them up! When I moved here from Toronto, I was unemployed and I went to check out all the doughnut shops in the city. I felt like there weren’t too many unique ones so I was like, this city needs another doughnut company!
I don’t like working around deep fryers so I was experimenting with different baked doughnut options but they were all coming out like cakes. They weren’t quite what I wanted, so then I started thinking about bread alternatives. I realized that I learned how to make yorkshire pudding from my grandma years ago so I tried putting the yorkshire pudding batter into a doughnut pan and it turned out really good! It has that really crispy outside and a fluffy inside which is kinda similar to a fried doughnut. It’s just a weird little invention.
So the base doughnut is always the same classic yorkshire recipe. It’s not sweetened or anything, so it’s a true bread pudding. The toppings are just what I find fresh or local in the markets at the time. So when cherries were in, that was the big thing. I’ll just find any fresh fruit and either slow roast it or use it fresh and make the glazes out of that.
Yeah! The name sort of came during a brainstorming session with a few of my friends. We kind of sat down trying to think of punny doughnut names and glazed and confused. As soon as we said it we’re like, that is it. It also kinda pays hommage to my dad who’s like a huge led zeplin fan; we’ve always been really into classic rock as a family.
So how my pay it forward system works is like this: anyone can purchase a doughnut for someone on the DTES and I’ll give them out on their behalf. I also do giveaway days where I’ll bake a few dozen and just go hand them out. Usually I’ll drop off half at a womans shelter or one of the needle exchanges downtown, then I’ll give the rest out on the street.
It’s been interesting getting to know a lot of the people who live in the Hastings area. You see so many people asking for money and I’ll ask them, “Do you want a doughnut?” and they’re always like, “Yes!” So it’s been kinda fun bringing that kind of joy to people with just doughnuts. It’s been a really rewarding experience.
Platform 7 down on Hastings stocks them on the weekends from Thursday through Saturday, but that’s it for now.