August 22, 2019
For those who are new to our company and unaware of our history, Donut Friend did not recently decide to start using cow’s milk in our coffee drinks; it has been an option in our beverage program since 2013. We are not, and have never claimed to be, a vegan donut shop.
When we opened our doors nearly six years ago, we had both vegan and non-vegan items on our menu. Our raised donuts were vegan, but our cake donuts were not. We had real pastry cream as a filling, and our Bacon 182 donut had actual bacon on it. Over time, and as we discovered ways to veganize our menu without compromising taste or quality, we replaced our non-vegan donuts and toppings with items that are completely plant based. This evolution has been slow but steady, and we can now proudly say that all of our donuts, fillings, toppings, and ice cream are 100% vegan.
But Donut Friend has always been about being inclusive and not catering to any particular demographic or tribe. We are not in business to proselytize or educate our guests, and we’ve never wanted anyone to feel alienated or like Donut Friend wasn’t meant for them. So, out of respect to our non-vegan guests who didn’t ask to come a vegan donut shop and probably wouldn’t have if they had known, we’ve always had cow’s milk available for our coffee drinks; however, out of respect for our vegan guests, we kept it off the menu, out of sight, and made it “by request” only.
This delicate balance has existed for years, but with the Amazon on fire and us powerless to do anything about it, with the plethora of plant based milk alternatives that currently exist, that we use, and that our guest already love, and with the fact that being a 99.99% vegan donut shop is, quite frankly, a lot more confusing than it really ought to be for some people, we feel it might be time to remove dairy milk completely from our shops, and are doing so today, not-so-ironically on Nut Milk Day.
We appreciate the love and support we’ve always received from the vegan community even though we’ve never been a vegan business, and we hope this decision alleviates any of the doubt or confusion that exists around who we are or what we’re doing. In our minds, we’re still just a donut shop, though; the same, second best donut shop you’ve always known and loved, but now with an unambiguously all-vegan menu.