Heading the Doughnut Charge – by Aaron De Lazzer

If coffee is our main business, doughnuts are our flanking move. Heading the charge is none other than our head baker Chris Fraser, here today in the hot seat for a little get to know you Q&A.

AD: Chris, your desk is located in the extreme opposite corner of the building from mine. Intentional or purely circumstantial?

CF: Purely circumstantial I’m sure. I don’t know. I missed the first day of class. Who did the seating assignment anyway?

AD: Bakers can be odd. Photographers can also be (exceptionally) odd. You’re both. How did this happen?

CF: Simply, I think it is the desire to understand the science behind my two favorite things. So school (photography) and endless determination (baking)

AD: What do you like to read?

CF: Oh, I am a magazine junkie for sure. Dwell, Saveur, La Cucina Italiana, Film and Grain are some of my favorites.

AD: The best part of starting work at 4am?

CF: In addition to the very quiet commute to work in the morning, I get to spend the afternoon with my wife and two kids (a 3 year old and a 3 month old).

AD: A few of us out here reading this, you know, like to get the oven mitts on over the weekend and dabble in baking. Can you give us a pro-tip that might take us to the next level? And no, “use more butter doesn’t count.”

CF: Oh, but really, butter makes everything better.  Mmmmm, butter. Sorry what was the question?

AD: Ok, ok so our Ethical Bean doughnuts are bringing sexy back and selling like hotcakes, giving those of us in the coffee department a ‘cough, cough’ run for our money BUT we’re still a coffee company first. What is your coffee beverage of choice?

CF: Americano! Hands down.

AD: Have you ever drank coffee through a straw?

CF: Uh, no. Straws are for sodas.

AD: Phew, ok good. That was a trick question. You passed. What inspires your creativity?

CF: Honestly, I think I have a crush on this city, and really the province. There is so much here that inspires me. From all the great chefs and bakers creating delectable treats to the boundless orchards and small city garden plots growing beautiful food. How could you not love this place?

AD: The doughnuts have been avant-garde in their flavour and presentation since the beginning. You keep taking it up a notch. Is there something that you’re not telling us?

CF: Yes, I have Magical Baking Fairies. That and my wife has tried every crazy idea that I have had over the past 20 years – and she is not easy to please.

AD: Coffee has a geeky side – it gets a little embarrassing. Does baking? Sneak us a glimpse would you?

CF: Yes. Nothing gets geekier than hearing men talk about Hydration Percentages of their bread dough. Bread tip: The higher the hydration of your bread dough the more open and lighter the crumb. Geek.

AD: Do you have a sweet tooth?

CF: Oh, yes.

AD: What does a guy who works with sugar all day reach for when he needs a little something to go with his coffee or tea on the weekend?

CF: We have a tradition in our house. Every Saturday I get up and make pancakes with my oldest son. There’s nothing better than a cup of coffee, and a stack of pancakes.

AD: Most frequently visited website?

CF: Easy. www.filmwasters.com

AD: Travel. You have a young family so you’re not going anywhere for the next couple or twenty years but if you could travel somewhere further than a four hour drive away, where to?

CF: The dream for a while now is to do the Trans-Mongolian railway from Moscow through Mongolia and on to China. Back too reality. I would say our next trip might be to Italy for a culinary adventure.

AD: Pull back for the wide shot. Let’s get big picture for a moment and in a tweet sized (140 characters) description or less please tell us the vision, your vision for where we’re going with doughnuts.

CF: Excellent quality and flavour with something a little different in a doughnut = world domination….

AD: Thanks Chris you’re best. Early to bed! Vancouver needs their fresh doughnuts.


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