Our first trip to Cartems today, at their pop-up shop in Gastown. The owner, Jordan, served us & we managed to chat for a good ten minutes about how things came to be & the tasty wares he had on offer. I should say, what wares he had left over after the morning opening rush. They opened their doors at ten, we arrived at ten-thirty, and half the listed types of doughnut were already gone.
Jordan seems very serious about making a go of things, and told us he had researched competing product across the country & the WA State area. He talked about his vision and product (the ratio and types of flour, offerings for vegans, gluten-challenged etc.), intent on making quality.
My husband (who jokingly called himself a donut sommelier on our walk home, such is his wealth of expertise) said that he'd be tweeting, "Three bucks for a doughnut? Hell yes, when they're this good."
We sampled the Earl Grey and Citrus doughnuts, both cake style, very fresh and subtly flavoured. A slight nod to the citrus as its flavour came through a bit more distinctly.
I was initially surprised that there would be this much demand for high-end doughnuts, particularly in the DTES area. Then I got to thinking, there's not much else to compare with locally, is there? I don't even consider the pre-thawed crap at Tim Horton's the real deal, and Lee's is not as good as it was, for some reason...
Hopefully they can manage to find suitable permanent premises soon, as they seem to be doing very good early business and it's nice to see such enthusiasm married with quality results.