Meet your Neighbour: The Donut Diva's Dee Spencer provides London with sweet treats!
Donut Diva's Rainbow Party Pack of mini donuts (Source: Dee Spencer)
LONDON, ONT. -- You can't miss it when you see it - a brightly painted pink food truck that emits the most glorious smell as you approach.
Dee Spencer is the owner of The Donut Diva Mini Donut Food Truck.
When Spencer moved to London from Sarnia, she met with other Food Truck owners through the London Food Truck Association where they celebrated one another's successes and helped build their businesses together.
Spencer decided to sell mini donuts after attending a fair in Sarnia where she couldn't find the food she would often buy when attending fairs in Alberta.
What makes her donuts different? "I am an outside of the box kind of thinker, so just doing mini donuts with the cinnamon and icing sugar didn't appeal to me. I expanded on that, and have personally developed over 50 recipes for 'sugary flavours," she explains.
Carrying about 30 donut flavours on the truck at a time, Spencer says salted caramel, white Razzleberry, key lime, and Turtle are some of her best sellers. Special flavours like pumpkin spice and candy cane are brought out at specific times of the year.
Travelling isn't an issue with a food truck although Spencer says, "I do generally only operate in London but have taken it to events within an hour of the city. I get numerous requests to go to Kitchener, Hamilton, Toronto, but I really love my customers here in London and prefer to stay as close to home whenever possible."
It's not uncommon to see The Donut Diva at festivals in London, although 2020 was a different year for these sorts of events.
"We do a variety of events throughout the year (festivals, school spring fairs, Christmas events). With COVID this year, everything we normally do was cancelled. So we put our heads together with our Food Truck Family and ventured out into various neighborhoods for a Food Truck Community Night and the reception was amazing. The Communities loved that we could bring a little fun to them while still being able to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines."
Donut Diva's 'Joe Gooey' platter - Red Velvet mini donuts with marshmallow sauce and chocolate drizzle (Source: Dee Spencer)
Provided the roads are safe, Spencer operates her truck all year round. "I have snow-pants and an electric heated vest so I persevere. And no, my equipment does not give off a lot of heat so yes it does get very cold inside our truck in the winter."
Her passion for her business and love for her customers show with each interaction she makes. Old customers from Sarnia and excited children who approach the truck are just as important as her 'competition' that supports her.
"Another reason I love this business is the incredible relationship and support I have from my Food Truck Family (Big Daddy Bacon, Pierogi Queen, GrillEm, Tikka Tomato, Rocky Mountain Pizza and New Leaf). It really makes it such a delight to be out working the truck and being amongst friends and knowing if I need anything they are right there for me as I am for them."
Although the pandemic closed down food trucks for a time, Spencer began offering e-transferred porch deliveries of their Party Packs. She even joined forces with other trucks and offered combos. Once restrictions were lifted, she was able to re-open her Donut Diva truck again.
While it was supposed to happen this year, due to the pandemic guests will have to wait a little longer for the exciting expansion to Spencer's business.
"We are expanding with a Mini Donut Ice Cream Truck which will combine our Mini Donuts, Ice Cream and Signature Sauces to create one-of-a-kind Sundaes and which will carry our Famous Peachy Raspberry Lemonade."
About 80% of their bookings usually fill up by March, January is when they begin booking their truck for the new year. Everything from school events and staff appreciation luncheons to fundraisers can include this mini donut truck.
"I was driving to an event a little while ago and a wonderful lady in the car next to me shouted out how much she loved my mini donuts and that she hopes I keep on 'Donuting'."
Next time you're at the corner of Wonderland and Riverside or at a festival in town and see the big pink truck, make sure to stop by for some tasty treats and good conversation because anyone can be a diva, but not everyone can be as sugary sweet as The Donut Diva!