Katie’s Cronuts Sets Up Shop

Review by Susan Pretty, Photos by Keegan Richard

We know what you’re thinking: what is a cronut, and why are people raving about them? Katie Cole, owner of Katie’s Cronuts, says a cronut is “a French laminated pastry or better—a fried croissant in the shape of a donut.”

Well, that sounds delicious. But let’s learn a little about lamination. Lamination is the process of folding and rolling butter into dough over and over again to create super-thin layers. These layers, which alternate between butter and dough, are what gives croissants their signature honeycomb interior structure and their fabulously flaky texture. With the rest time factored in (for the dough, not Cole—she’s a hard worker), it can take up to 30 hours to complete a bake. Cole does her handiwork on a cold marble counter and works by feel. You have to “know the dough,” she chuckles.

Cronuts come in a variety of delectable flavours—cinnamon sugar, lemon, salted caramel, chocolate (using Bernard Callebaut chocolate, no less!)—yet Cole says her top seller is Nutella. She makes all her flavours from scratch, including pastry cream and caramel sauce, and she even creates her own vanilla with top-of-the-line spirits and vanilla bean. Cruffins—a cross between a croissant and a muffin—are also on the menu, bursting with flavours such as lemon curd, caramel pecan, and s’mores.

Why cronuts? Cole, who grew up helping her mom in the kitchen, has always had a natural affinity for baking. “I was pregnant and in Vegas and I tried my first cronut and I was hooked,” she says. “I love baking and so I decided to make my own. Family and friends devoured them and I hadn’t seen them in Thunder Bay so I thought y’all would love them.”

Katie’s Cronuts offers free delivery within city limits, using all the current safety protocols. She also offers contact-free pick up at her home bakery. As for her vision for the future? Picture a big pink food truck selling fresh warm cronuts and croissant sandwiches. Yes, Cole would love a food truck—and she would be right at home behind the wheel.

Cole is delighted with the response to her business so far. “Not being from Thunder Bay, I am amazed and grateful for the support and love for Katie’s Cronuts,” she says. “This city has shown immense strength and a sense of community during these difficult times. Shop local.”

Well said! If you haven’t tried a cronut yet, it’s time to stop wondering what all the fuss is about. 

Check out Cole’s Facebook page, or email katiescronuts@gmail.com.