Last month, I spent a day down in Calgary at mesh west. It was a very quick down-in-the-morning and back-in-the-evening kind of trip, but I was under strict orders from Sharon to stop at Jelly Modern Doughnuts before coming home (especially appropriate as National Doughnut Day had just passed). I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it before they closed, but fortunately we had scored an introduction just a week earlier at the TMAC Alberta social media workshop to founder Rita Tripathy. I emailed Rita and she graciously agreed to set aside a dozen doughnuts for me, so that I’d be allowed back into the house 😉
It was fairly late in the day when I arrived, but there was still a steady stream of people visiting the shop, located at 1414 8 Street SW. You can’t miss it as you pass by – the bright pink signage brightens up the otherwise dull corner (though I hear there’s an awesome coffee shop kitty-corner, Kawa). The space used to house real estate developer The Eden Group of Companies, and while I can’t say I had seen the previous interior, I can say the Jelly Modern Doughnuts space is beautiful. A white bar with clear stools lines one side of the shop, while wooden seats with pink pillows fills the other corner. You can’t miss the large display case, right near the centre of the store.
Unfortunately Rita wasn’t there when I arrived, but I did get to spend some time chatting with her husband and business partner Murray, and Chef Grayson Sherman. They told me about the doughnuts that were on display, some regulars on the menu and some special. The “seasonal” menu features a different special each month – when I was there in June, it was Chocolate Espresso. They also had a “Vancouver Canucks” donut to celebrate the cup run.
I left with a dozen doughnuts and a cinnamon bun for the road, all on the house thanks to Murray’s refusal to let me pay. Needless to say, Sharon was pretty excited when I finally walked in the door that night (for the doughnuts, that is), exclaiming “it looks like a box of flowers!” We wasted no time digging in!
Funky flavours like maple bacon and s’mores aren’t the only reason these doughnuts are unique. The “hole” in the centre isn’t really a hole! It’s more like a well, ready to be filled with peanut butter, jelly, lemon, etc. This means you get to see everything that you’re about to eat, and it also makes for a less messy treat. Additionally, Jelly Modern Doughnuts uses local, organic ingredients, as explained by Julie.
While I did enjoy the maple bacon, my favorite was probably the classic jelly (though I quite liked the coconut as well). Sharon liked the vanilla with sprinkles and the peanut butter cup best. I’m usually not a fan of sweets but I did enjoy the doughnuts, perhaps because the dough itself wasn’t overly sweet (which explains why Chef Sherman was thinking of making sandwiches with it). The cinnamon bun I ate on the way home really hit the spot as well!
Will Edmonton move beyond cupcakes someday as well? If we do, I hope we end up with something like Jelly Modern Doughnuts! In the meantime, follow @JellyModern on Twitter and stop by when you’re in Calgary!
Jelly Modern Doughnuts
100, 1414 8 Street SW
Monday – Friday 7:00am – 7:00pm, Saturday 8:00am – 6:00pm, Sunday 9:00am – 6:00pm