The origin of the Kelownut and why they've been so hard to find lately | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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The origin of the Kelownut and why they've been so hard to find lately


KELOWNA - After a couple of days without bakers the Kelownut is back on the shelves of Kelowna’s Specialty Bakery.

What, you may ask, is a Kelownut?

“They are croissant and doughnut dough and then we inject them with Bavarian crème,” Shelly Burger, a worker at Specialty Bakery told iNFOnews today, Aug. 1. And they're about five centimetres thick.

That’s all the information they were willing to provide.

“We can’t give away the secret recipe,” owner Brent Browne said, laughing. “So don’t ask any more questions."

The sweet treat is similar to one invented in New York in 2013 and dubbed the Cronut (croissant and doughnut). It was adopted and renamed at the Kelowna bakery but that was before Browne bought the business so he doesn’t know if the recipe was modified locally.

Shelly Burger, a worker at Specialty Bakery in Kelowna, is happy the Kelownut is back.
Shelly Burger, a worker at Specialty Bakery in Kelowna, is happy the Kelownut is back.

You find them at Specialty Bakery on Finns Road, their retail outlet on Hollywood Road along with a few other cafes and stores in Kelowna.

But, for a couple of days recently, it wasn’t available anywhere.

“We desperately need a couple of bakers,” Browne said. “Some days, because of our wholesale orders, we just haven’t had time to extend ourselves to that (Kelownut) area of our business, so we missed a couple of days when we haven’t had it. But, they’re back again.”

He’s scrambling between day and night shift to make the 10 to 30 dozen Kelownuts a day he normally produces but, with hundreds of loaves of bread and buns to ship over much of the Interior of B.C., bakers just didn’t have time for the Kelownuts.

That prompted at least one devoted fan to call it a “travesty” and put out a plea for a baker to “Please help me to save the Kelownut.”

Since that Facebook post just came out yesterday, it’s unlikely that it had any effect. But Browne has a new baker starting on Tuesday to take over making the Kelownut as well as other sweets like cinnamon buns and regular doughnuts.

So, why is it so hard to find bakers?

“I think it’s (baker) a dying breed,” Browne said. “It’s hard work. It’s long hours. It’s hot in the bakery. Ideally, it should be night work but I’m trying to work around that obstacle.

He’s tried recruiting out of baking schools in major Western Canadian cities and looking internationally for bakers. But, given that the pay must also afford the bakeries a chance to compete with low priced grocery store products, it’s hard to find willing workers.

In fact, he’s just as happy to take someone with no formal schooling who has a desire to learn and a willingness to work hard.

“Labour is a real problem in this town,” he said. “There are two qualifying factors. Can you find somebody you can hire? And, when you do hire them, will they work? And the third one is, will they come back the second day?”

For now, with his new baker starting on Tuesday, the Kelownut has a new life.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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