Between the overproduction of baked goods, all the packaging and the plastic gloves, Shannon Lovelace-White was shocked at the amount of waste at the commercial bakery she worked at — so much so that it inspired her to create her own business, Squeaky Little Wheel, with the goal of making tasty vegan doughnuts in an environmentally friendly way.
The baker runs her business out of her home and eliminates waste by only making doughnuts and mini-bundt cakes to order. Customers order in advance, eliminating extra baked goods that would otherwise wind up in the trash. As long as customers order by 9 p.m., their doughnuts will be ready the next morning; cakes require 24-hour advance notice.
Squeaky Little Wheel also sells doughnut mixes for home cooks. “My true inspiration was the mixes,” Lovelace-White explains. “This way people could make their doughnuts at home, they wouldn’t need rubber gloves, and they could make only as much as they want to consume.”
Boxes for the fresh-baked doughnuts and cakes are biodegradable and recyclable, and the boxes for the mixes are recyclable and contain compostable ingredient bags.The baker also uses compostable gloves. All products are free of dairy, eggs and all other animal products, making them completely vegan. “People are shocked when they realize the doughnuts are vegan,” she notes.
The shop's most popular doughnut varieties include German chocolate cake, lemon poppyseed, vanilla sprinkle and mocha swirl. Vanilla coconut, vanilla raspberry sprinkle, chocolate coconut, chocolate raspberry sprinkle, double chocolate cocoa nib and lemon coconut are other options.
Lovelace-White’s personal favorite is a chocolate doughnut with chocolate icing. “It’s chocolate on chocolate — really fudgy with rich icing,” she says. The baker knows her chocolate, having tested five different cocoa powders until she found one she loved. She also tested seven different powder sugars.
“The nice thing about doing small batches is I could really focus on high-quality ingredients,” Lovelace-White says. “I always think, ‘Would I want to feed these to my nephews?’”
The doughnuts are all baked, not fried, making them a healthier option. All of Lovelace-White's baked goods are also free of soy, artificial colors and artificial flavors.
Doughnuts are available for pick-up or in specific delivery areas, as well as at occasional farmers' markets and festivals. Learn more about Squeaky Little Wheel by visiting its website, and keep track of events on Instagram.
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