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Gluten-free doughnuts ’caused more stress than joy’

Sugar Shack’s storefront at Leigh and Lombardy streets. (Photo by Michael Schwartz)

Sugar Shack’s storefront at Leigh and Lombardy streets. (Photo by Michael Schwartz)

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–There’s no sugarcoating it: Richmond’s insatiable sweet tooth has forced a local doughnut shop to make yet another on-the-fly adjustment.

Sugar Shack Donuts last weekend hosted the last of its popular vegan and gluten-free Sundays. And despite selling hundreds of the specialty treats per day, it will cease making gluten-free doughnuts altogether. Customer complaints about low inventory tempered co-owner Ian Kelley’s enthusiasm.

“Every comment I got was ‘these are the most amazing tasting things I’ve ever had,’” he said. “Then you would have someone else who would say ‘these are really good but I had to wait in line 45 minutes and could only get four of them.’”

Sugar Shack dedicated an entire day each week to the products because making gluten-free foods with the same tools used for regular doughnuts could result in cross-contamination. Prepping for vegan and gluten-free Sunday meant taking several hours Saturday afternoon to scrub down flour-laden cooking equipment, Kelley said.

“It’s a completely different beast of baking and culinary arts. There’s a limit on what you can make – it’s basically how much refrigerator space you have,” Kelley said.

In announcing the end of the specialty Sundays, the shop said on its Facebook page that it “caused more stress than joy.”

“Many of you have been more than gracious towards the strenuous efforts and time it takes to safely prepare gluten-free foods, while many others have met us both publically and privately with resentment that there is a limit to how many doughnuts can physically be made in a period of time,” the announcement said.

READ THE FULL STORY ON Richmond BizSense. 

(originally posted on 8/16)

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