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Homer Simpson's “donut craze” spreads to Montreal

Homer Simpson's “donut craze” spreads to Montreal

In Montreal, journalist Louis-Philippe Messier travels mostly on the run, with his desk in his backpack, in search of fascinating subjects and people. He speaks to everyone and is interested in all walks of life in this urban register.

A donut shop that opened three weeks ago in Montreal's Notre-Dame-de-Grace district may bake its maximum production of 5,000 donuts a day, but that's not enough to meet demand for its eye-popping pastries. The Simpson family or Sesame Street.

I arrive, and like everyone else, I stand at the end of the line. Because there has always been a line in front of Homer's store since it opened on March 25.



Homer's Donut Shop opened its doors just three weeks ago and is still going strong.

Louis Philippe Messier

Inside, there are here and there like buildings dozens of empty boxes stacked up and ready for use.

Behind the counter, in the small kitchen, no one is bored. The phone keeps ringing. The fryer timer beeps regularly.

It's a buzz. The ten employees present are wearing uniforms with the slogan: “Here we hold donuts”… which is not true!

The donut shop processes about 200 kilograms of dough daily, seven days a week.

“It starts at one in the morning. We have to start production, otherwise we won't supply. It's been like this since day one when we sold everything. We quickly realized that we had to reach maximum production,” Terry Axiotis told me as he fried Cakes.

Cooking madness

Surprised and delighted by the scale of Homer's success, Mr. Axiotis told me that he had actually experienced a more active kitchen than his own: “I worked at a McDonald's in La Ronde in the '90s… and it was more intense!”

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Now that he has trained an employee to arrive shortly after midnight, he can “relax” until 3 a.m.

During the interview in the kitchen, I was still nervous.

“Excuse me!” “I'll get Cookie Monsters!” writes a staff member with a tray of fresh blue cookies. He steps aside to let her pass.

Cashier Naomi can put the finishing touches on the 12-piece box for a customer who has been waiting for these special themed cakes. Sesame Street.

“Oh! It's heavy!” exclaimed the man as he lifted his box.



Axiotis

“It's heavy!” one customer shouted as he held up his box containing 12 cupcakes.

Louis Philippe Messier

“You have to wait five minutes to get your glazed donuts,” the cashier then points out to the customer who, while I was talking to her, stepped back and knocked over a stack of boxes…which fell over. Ooops!

“Sometimes one customer orders sports teams and leaves with five dozen at a time. We don't impose a limit because people who buy such large quantities come from far away,” Mr. Axiotis explains.

Some customers come from Victoriaville and even Trois-Rivières to buy these cakes.

Donut designer

To provide delicious and fun donuts, Homer relies on “donut designer” Zeinab Benmoussa.

“I can't wait for summer because I'll be making recipes using fruits from Quebec,” M told me.I Benmoussa, who serves me a “Donut of the Day” with blueberries and graham cracker crumbs.

The “donut designer” has also created recipes for Cotton Candy, Smarties, Nutella, Crème Brûlée… and also plans to use typical Montreal cookies like Whippets.

I'm resisting my carnivorous instinct and forgoing donuts topped with golden bacon bits and instead trying the donut shop brand, Homer's, with pink icing.



Axiotis

My instinct was to go for the very dirty bacon scones… but instead I chose the most emblematic of the scone shop: Homer, pink, as in “The Simpsons.”

Louis Philippe Messier

It is very succulent and soft. The taste of powdered sugar melts in your mouth. No teeth needed.

After closing at 5pm, a team arrives just to clean: “My staff are so exhausted after their day that I can't ask them to do extra cleaning…” Mr. Axiotis explains.

One thing is for sure: If you want to make sure you get the cake of your choice or cake at all, don't arrive too late.



Axiotis

Employee Naomi drops off a new batch of cotton candy donuts. Many of the trays are empty and the team behind them is working to make them available.

Louis Philippe Messier