Baking Up Joy With Plant Based Doughnuts
Story And Photo By Ujjwal Sharma
Local business owner Jordynne Ropat’s goal is to “Plant Joy” in the hearts of her customers, one bite at a time, through her delicious vegan doughnuts.
Plant Joy, located at 5622 Wyandotte Street East in Windsor, was created in March 2018 when Ropat had the idea to provide plant based comfort food. A month later, she made her first doughnut.
“I began bringing my doughnuts to local pop-up events and markets and realized this was something Windsor was missing,” she explains. “I spent a year attending pop-ups and selling my doughnuts wholesale, and in May of 2019 I opened our storefront in Olde Riverside.”
Plant Joy makes gourmet vegan doughnuts with high-quality fair-trade and organic ingredients. More than a dozen innovative and delicious flavours are offered.
“Cinnamon sugar, of course, is a classic, and cookies ‘n’ creme is one of our everyday best sellers,” Ropat states. “And we make our vanilla frosting and chocolate cookies from scratch — nothing from a box!”
The name “Plant Joy” has a number of meanings. One is pretty obvious: plant-based joy.
“Doughnuts can be a source of joy,” she believes. “They have a way of allowing us to feel like a kid again; they are a comforting, fun, delicious treat.”
And the business gives back to the community as well, frequently donating gift cards and doughnuts to local charities and fundraising events.“We recently donated doughnut holes to a charity event for the Australian Red Cross that raised more than $5,000 and we were asked to provide 600 mini doughnuts to the ‘Do Good Divas’ most recent event,” describes Ropat. “Additionally, any doughnuts at the end of the day that do not sell are donated to community organizations, such as the Windsor Youth Centre, The Hospice and Windsor and Essex County, Street Help, The Downtown Mission of Windsor and The Welcome Centre for Women and Families.”
The great thing about the doughnuts at Plant Joy is that they are a treat many people can enjoy, even if they have dietary restrictions or allergies.
“Our doughnuts are also a favourite for people who care about the ingredients that go into their food,” she adds. “We use more than 90 percent organic ingredients and prioritize fair-trade ingredients as well, which means the workers who farmed the ingredients — such as organic raw cane sugar — were paid a fair wage.”
She and her staff often serve young families — many of whom have children with dairy and egg allergies — and they serve many vegans and people that eat a solely or mostly plant-based diet.
It had always been Ropat’s goal to provide a high-quality plant-based dessert option that leaves people feeling satisfied.
“A common misconception about vegan food is that it has to be bland and tasteless,” she describes. “We are frequently told that our doughnuts are better than traditional doughnuts made with dairy and eggs, so vegans and non-vegans alike can enjoy a plant-based treat and don’t feel like they are ‘missing out.’”
Ropat expresses that she loves being a woman in business.
“I think that female entrepreneurs are sometimes underestimated or taken less seriously, but fortunately that has not been my experience in Windsor’s small business community,” Ropat comments. “I believe in surrounding myself with people who also have big goals and love serving others, and I have been fortunate enough to receive advice and mentorship from many other women in business, local and otherwise. I see my position as a woman in business as an opportunity to help other women achieve their goals and show little girls what is possible if they follow their heart.”
Ropat tries to deliberately carve out time that is solely her own in order to balance work and home life.
“Usually, for me that is working out, whether it is spin class, yoga, or boxing,” she lists. “As a business owner, you can always find more work to do — whether you should or not — and sometimes it is a challenge to turn off my ‘business brain’ and rest. So I find that an hour-long workout class is really helpful for getting myself out of my head and taking time to focus on me.”