You can now get pizza donuts in Toronto from this secret new bakery
A secret new bakery bringing pizza donuts to Toronto has just been launched in the city by a 28-year-old teacher-turned-baker.
Pizza fritta, which are kind of like pizza donuts, is a popular Italian street food. Frittas Donuts founder Chanel Warshafsky is half-Italian, and her take on pizza fritta is inspired by her nonno.
Growing up in Toronto, Warshafsky's family cooked using a wood burning fire. Her nonno would bring over dough in a brown paper bag, and if he topped it with sugar, it became a donut; if he topped it with sauce, it became a pizza.
Warshafsky was working as a teacher in Toronto when lockdowns hit, helping operate a small photography school. In early March 2020, she was temporarily laid off.
It would be the first of many big changes for her. In August 2020, she married her fiance Michael, and the day after their wedding they moved out west where she started attending Northwest Culinary Academy.
Warshafsky always loved cooking, and seized an opportunity to reassess where she was going in life. She now calls her experience out west the "best year of my life" that set her off on a "second career path."
She fell in love with donuts while doing her pastry program, calling them the "perfect palette for creativity." She and her husband would spend their Saturdays exploring local donut shops, where she sometimes found the creative bounds were pushed a bit too far, and would crave the simplicity of a Country Style donut from her childhood.
While staying out west, she worked teaching at her school coop placement and also at donut shop Cartems. Living in Kitsilano, word spread about her donut prowess through word of mouth, and people started to ask her to make some for them, allowing Warshafsky to evolve her recipes.
"Making donuts made me happy," says Warshafsky.
Throughout lockdowns, Warshafsky had stayed connected with her friend Mike Higgins, baking over Zoom and discussing their respective obsessions with donuts and pizza. Higgins and his girlfriend came to visit Warshafsky for a month, and their plans to work together started to become real.
Warshafsky's entrepreneur husband had to return to Toronto to open an office, and exactly a year after leaving she returned in August 2021. She converted a room in her house near Bathurst and St. Clair into a micro-bakery where they'd experiment on Saturdays.
She's now tweaking her family's recipes and incorporating them into her own style of hand-rolled brioche donuts, which are a bit bigger than the smaller-sized donuts at Cops and come in rotating flavours like tahini sesame, salted chocolate and pumpkin spice. She also makes hefty apple fritters and cinnamon rolls.
In just a couple months she's started selling donuts through Hunter Coffee on Saturdays, or you can also DM her to arrange grabbing fresh baked goods on a Saturday, though you should place a preorder by Wednesday latest. Donuts are $20 for a half dozen and $35 for a full dozen.
The pizza frittas are essentially fried dough with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil on top, and aren't available through Hunter, though you can DM Frittas on Instagram to place an order.
Frittas has started selling out lately, and Warshafsky is looking to expand to wholesale through more cafes, and is hoping to wholesale her pizzas to breweries on Saturday afternoons. She's also hoping to hire employees and start renting a commercial kitchen.
For now, though, she spends half her time working in the commercial kitchen at Jack and Lil's and half her time on a one-woman mission to in her words, "bring back the delicious donut."
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