Jelly Modern Doughnuts

Sales and Marketing Superstar

Location Calgary Owner Rita Tripathy
Employees 20 Founded 2011

★ The Business

Cupcakes are so 2010. Doughnuts are the “it” dessert item in 2012, and Calgary lawyer and entrepreneur Rita Tripathy’s high-end shop is leading the way. Jelly Modern Doughnuts burst onto the scene last year with its unique approach to Canada’s favourite pastry – local food legend and pastry chef Grayson Sherman uses a wide array of fresh and inventive ingredients that makes his doughnuts stand out from those most people are used to. Jelly has broadened the market for doughnuts by creating so-called “doughnut cakes” for weddings and birthday parties, and it has even branched out into the lunch business by using unglazed donuts as the bread in its doughnut sandwiches.

★ The Case

Product placement is a powerful marketing tool, and Jelly Modern Doughnuts took that to a whole other level last year when they managed to get one of their doughnuts into the hands of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton. Tripathy and Sherman whipped up a special doughnut that featured a Madagascar vanilla glaze, Chantilly cream, fresh-baked meringue and a raspberry coulis and called it the “Eton Mess,” which was a take on the Prince’s favourite dessert while at Eton College. “We got a lot of recognition out of that,” Rita Tripathy says. But that wasn’t the first time Jelly modern flirted with fame. Just weeks after the store opened, it made a doughnut for Mayor Naheed Nenshi (a practicing Muslim who doesn’t eat pork) that replicated the flavours of its popular maple bacon doughnut. It’s now a permanent part of their menu – called, appropriately enough, the Nenshi. Not all of their custom-made celebrity doughnuts have been as popular – they made a “Tribble” doughnut for the Star Trek convention that didn’t quite work out as planned – but the strategy has clearly helped Jelly Modern get its name in the news.


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