More dollars for doughnuts: Be prepared to pay a higher price for your sweet fix

Jon Martin (right) left the healthcare industry to open a Maverick's Donuts in Stittsville. Photo provided.

If money makes the world go ’round, then it’s also true that more money is needed to make Canadians’ favourite round pastry — the doughnut.

Two popular Ottawa doughnut shops have had to raise prices on the sweet treats to keep up with the increased costs of everything from basic ingredients to wages.

According to Statistics Canada, grocery prices in January were up 11.4 per cent compared to a year ago. That’s nearly double the overall rate of inflation, which was 5.9 per cent that month.

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Maverick’s Donuts managing partner Jon Martin says he’s been keeping a close eye on inflation for a while. He’s increased prices, albeit reluctantly, twice in the past two years.

“We try to increase our prices as little as we can, but we do enough that is needed,” Martin says. 

In order to keep making high-quality doughnuts, Martin says he has raised prices on his company’s classics — such as powdered sugar and honey-glazed — from $2.25 to $2.75 each over the past two years. Signature doughnuts like cherry blossom and maple bacon sell for $3.75 each.

Martin says most of his cost increases come from the higher price of oil needed to make the doughnuts. Food Business News reported in 2021 that the prices for oils — from soybean to canola to palm — had doubled and in some cases tripled over the previous year. Wages and other ingredients were also part of the cause, Martin says.

The result has been that, instead of purchasing four or five doughnuts, customers now purchase three or four of the treats, Martin says. Still, sales remain fairly steady, he adds.

SuzyQ Doughnuts, another well-known shop in the city, has also felt the pinch. Late last year, the owners took to their Instagram page to explain their increased prices.

“Raising the price of SuzyQ Doughnuts gets less fun every time we do it,” the post reads. “This time, the inevitable came sooner than usual.”

SuzyQ cited supply challenges and increased wages and benefits as reasons behind the price changes.

“Those are people’s livelihoods, many of them are supporting families; their own costs of living are rising sharply the same way yours are,” SuzyQ explained.

SuzyQ is known for its innovative flavours such as wundercrunch and salty caramel. 

“We’re in a tough position — we need our high-quality ingredients, or we won’t be SuzyQ. We need our staff to survive in a spiraling economy — maybe spending their wages at your place of business, where prices aren’t the same this year as last, either. And we need our community to be able to budget for nice things, because we make nice things, and if we can’t keep selling you our nice things, everyone’s things will be a lot less nice.”

SuzyQ says they’re trying to cut costs, but ultimately were forced to raise prices. Single doughnuts range in price from $4 to $4.42.

Sophia Adams is a journalism student at Algonquin College and joins OBJ on an internship.

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