Stan and Nyla Wilson, owners of dot donuts, are longtime residents of East Vancouver and have spent more than 30 years in the baking industry. In 2001, they opened a European-style bakery café and after operating that for seven years, they decided to sell the company and launch into a new venture: creating fresh donuts. They saw growth happening in the area and knew they could tailor their store and product line to serve the demographics of the local community: busy families and business commuters.
Now, after 11 years of operation, dot donuts continues to create fresh donuts on site daily. Production starts in the early evening, when the team works late into the night to produce fresh products that are ready at 5:30 a.m. on weekdays and 6:30 a.m. on weekends. There are three production employees and five to six retail employees that help the shop run smoothly.
The shop is known for its closing policy, which is now becoming an industry standard for other small independent shops like dot donuts – it’s open until the donuts are gone or until 2 p.m.
Nyla said that production forecasting is important to their business.
“(Production forecasting) is our best method to accurately produce and meet the next day’s sales goals, relying on historical data and current trending,” she said. “In utilizing the data available, forecasting continues to be an inexact science. We still occasionally experience dramatic swings in sales volume resulting in an early sellout or significant product sale. Fresh donuts fully stocked each morning is crucial to our success.”
Nyla said she also believes another key to the shop’s success is their ability to provide an exceptional variety of top-notch donuts. There are more than 30 flavors available, including a variety of yeast-raised, cake and traditional old-fashioned donuts. All icing and glazes are made in-house, with the exception being the cream cheese icing. All donut production is nut-free.
Nyla said that Stan’s extensive experience as a professional baker, combined with his production techniques and the quality ingredients, are what make the donuts visually appealing and tasty. In addition to classic favorites like maple bars and cinnamon twists, dot donuts also offers a variety of seasonal and specific varieties that are unique. Some of these include Cotton Candy, Raspberry Iced Sugar, Grapefruit Iced Cake and Chocolate Cake with Blackberry.
As far as the future goes for the donut shop, Nyla said she knows that donuts will always be a universal love language for people.
“Dot donuts will continue to grow as the East Vancouver area continues to expand with residential and commercial development,” she said. “Donuts transcend all barriers. Americans have a love for the donut – Vancouver is no exception.”
Dot donuts is located at 1825 SE 164th Ave., in Vancouver.