Burnaby resident Leslie Grana has started a homegrown donut business.(Supplied)

Burnaby’s homegrown donut shop

Now how do we get Michael Buble to try them?

By Simran Singh | January 31, 2022 |5:00 am

Burnaby isn’t known for donuts. There are places in the city that serve up delicious pastries including donuts, but the city itself doesn’t have its own designated donut shop.

But Burnaby resident Leslie Grana is hoping to change that with Twins Donuts, her homegrown business.

Grana’s venture is very new; in fact, it only began a few weeks ago. But her dreams of having her own donut shop have been a long time in the making.

Burnaby donurs
Twins Donuts flavours include Leche Flan. Dulce Flan, Nutella Cream Cheese and more. (Supplied)

She immigrated to Canada seven years ago from the Philippines and eventually settled in Burnaby. She always wanted to be a chef and she decided to pursue her dream.

“So I went to school and then work[ed] myself from the bottom up after two years to become a sous chef,” she told Burnaby Beacon.

But she always had an inkling to open a donut shop.

“I met my wife six years ago … and the first thing I said to her a couple of months that we’d be dating, I said that ‘You know what, one day if we get there … I want to open a donut shop here in Vancouver [area].’”

Burnaby donuts
Burnaby resident Leslie Grana has started a homegrown donut business. (Supplied)

Grana said she knows there are many donut shops around Metro Vancouver but she felt there needed to be more “excitement” in the industry when it comes to new, creative flavours.

Her donut dreams were put on hold for a while and then the pandemic hit. Her wife gave birth to twins and Grana was laid off from work.

“And I start thinking of what I can do next at home that I don’t have to send my kids to daycare because having twins is expensive. … Meanwhile, I keep thinking of what can I do to stay home and do something with my profession. And then so many ideas [were] coming in my head,” she said.

And then, Grana had her ‘aha moment’ at the beginning of January.

One day, while her kids were napping, Grana was watching an online blog video about a woman who runs a New York donut shop and her vision became a bit more clear.

“That was pretty much the same idea that I have and she was like, ‘Oh, I just started this from home and making it at home and people started liking it.’ And then she had a pop-up store, and then after a year she has to force herself to open her own shop because the demand is getting bigger and bigger,” explained Grana.

“I went downstairs waiting for my wife to get home. And the first thing I said: “We’re opening our own shop.’”

And that’s how Twins Donuts was born, with the name being inspired by Grana’s own twins.

Grana got to work right away making samples and sending them to her neighbours in the Forest Grove community to try.

Her neighbours were impressed—and Grana realized she could start expanding her donut business on Facebook.

She’s been posting on Facebook Marketplace and Burnaby community groups, and the orders have kept coming in.

She admits she had never actually made a donut in her life because she’s not a pastry chef.

“But I know how to make flavours. That’s what I know. I can do it,” she said.

Currently, Grana is offering six flavours: Leche Flan/ Dulce Flan, Lemon Curd, Avocado Delight, Bailey’s Cream, Nutella Cream Cheese, and Coconut Latik.

Burnaby donuts
The Coconut Latik donut. (Supplied)

Many of these take inspiration from well-known flavours from the Philippines.

“Some of the flavours, actually half of the flavours is actually what I grew up eating. It’s kind of a fusion of where I come from,” she said.

For example, the Dulce de Leche Flan is a famous dessert from the Philippines that is like a creamier egg custard, which just made sense to pair with a yeast donut, Grana said.

As for Avocado Delight, Grana said the fruit is actually used in many desserts in the Philippines. Working in kitchens around Metro Vancouver she realized how avocados get paired with more savoury dishes.

“Avocado is overrated, I mean in a good way,” she laughed. But its creaminess and subtle flavour also made her think it would work well with a hint of sweetness.

Her goal with each flavour is to not overpower the donut with too much sweetness. Instead, she wants folks to really taste how the flavour combinations work together to create a perfect balance in every bite.

She said that her next goal is to create a donut flavour using beets.

“It’s crazy, right? But beet has this earthy flavour, but it’s sweet.”

Grana is currently working out of her home kitchen—but with orders already increasing, she plans on eventually relocating to a commercial kitchen if the demand keeps growing.

“…The only thing I can do is to dream big [and] have my own shop. But for now, let’s deal with what I have in front of me. And right now it seems to be going pretty well,” she said.

And while Grana has only had satisfied customers, there is one more Burnaby resident she’s hoping to reach out to.

“I was telling my wife that, you know what I’m thinking? I’m going to tell Michael Buble, ‘Hey Michael why don’t you try the donut,’” she laughed.

You can learn more about Twins Donuts and order information on Instagram or by emailing twinsdonuts2020@gmail.com.

The shop currently operates every Monday and Tuesday and accepts orders from Wednesday with a Sunday cutoff. Donuts are free to pick up and cost $5 for local Burnaby delivery.

Simran Singh

Managing Editor at Burnaby Beacon

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