How Sweet it is!
From the moment Sam Holwell and Caesar Guinto opened the doors to Nicky’s Doughnuts & Ice Cream at 10AM on January 15, 2021, they’ve enjoyed a steady stream of customers eager to get their hands on some decadent sweets that just might be too good to share.
Sam and Caesar both have a long history in the food and beverage industry and found their careers and futures hanging in the balance of uncertainty when the dining scene was put into a tailspin two years ago. It was time for them to get moving on a plan that would enable them to get their feet back on solid ground.
The concept for Nicky’s started with a logo and pretty soon it was clear that there was no turning back for Sam and Caesar. From start to finish, the business model, planning process, commercial lease negotiations and commercial kitchen build took 10 months. Caesar was given the nickname ‘Nicky’ (from his middle name ‘Dominic’) as a child, which is when his love of doughnuts began so the business name came very naturally.
How early do you have to wake up when you own a donut shop? They start their day at 2AM and the doughnuts creation process takes about 6 hours from start to finish. They produce between 200 – 400 doughnuts per day, depending on which day of the week it is and each donut is a hand decorated work of art.
“We’re basically having our dinner when everyone else is having lunch so dining out in the evening isn’t really an option for us right now. We really appreciate being able to get something to go from either Baked & Picked or Later Pizza.” notes Caesar.
In addition to doughnuts, they also churn French style custard based ice cream using Sheldon Creek Dairy products and create flavor profiles that will put your taste buds over the top. Vegan options are always available at Nicky’s and once in a while, they offer American style ice cream just for something different.
Best advice for someone starting a new business? “It’s really important to know and understand your target market and understand the ebb and flow of customers, especially when tourism is a driving factor because you have to plan for the shoulder season. You also really need to understand your cost of goods sold. It’s not just the cost of ingredients that you have to consider when you’re pricing your products, you’ve got to include every little detail even the paper that we use to line the pans and the cost of packaging.” advises Sam. “We feel grateful for the amazing community support we’ve received.”
Fun fact: In addition to 38 years of food and beverage industry experience, Caesar is also an accomplished musician, was a tenor in a choir in Ireland and can play the drums, piano and trumpet.
Nicky’s Doughnuts & Ice Cream is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10AM – 5PM and you can find them at 10 Third Street in Collingwood Downtown.
Hot tip: Follow this Pop & Pop doughnut shop on facebook at www.facebook.com/Nickys-Doughnuts-Ice-Cream-101767681905044 or Instagram at www.instagram.com/nickysdoughnutsandicecream/ because as a sweet surprise and delight that’s where they announce new flavours of donuts and ice cream as well as when on-line ordering is available at www.nickysdoughnutsandicecream.com/