Windsor·Pinto on Food

Vegans in Windsor can now join in on the paczki day fun

Windsor company Plant Joy is selling a vegan version of Windsor's favourite calorie-laden fried treat.

Plant Joy is selling a vegan version of Windsor's favourite calorie-laden fried treat

CBC Windsor's Jonathan Pinto learns all about the vegan paczki produced by Plant Joy's Jordynne Ropat. 2:30

Windsor's favourite Shrove Tuesday food is now available for vegans.

Traditionally, the Polish answer to the jelly doughnut is made from a rich dough that contains eggs, butter and sometimes milk, all ingredients that aren't vegan-friendly. 

"People kept asking me, are you going to do paczki this year? After a dozen people asked me, I said 'maybe I will!'" explained Jordynne Ropat, owner of Plant Joy, a vegan doughnut company that debuted in 2018.

"Nobody should have to go without paczki on paczki day," she said. "That's just cruel."

Jordynne Ropat is the owner of Plant Joy, a vegan doughnut company in Windsor. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

Ropat's vegan paczki dough is made with flour, sugar, vegan margarine, cinnamon, baking powder, sea salt, yeast and water. It's proofed (allowed to rise) twice — after mixing and after being rolled and cut into the signature paczki shape.

When asked how the lack of egg — or egg substitutes — affects the final product, Ropat said that hasn't been an issue.

"I honestly think it's a little bit of magic because they turn out super-duper fluffy," she said. "I think anything with a yeast dough is going to have that fluffiness."

Ropat is offering lemon, strawberry, raspberry and vegan cream fillings. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

With a master's degree in neuroscience, Ropat was hoping to enter medical school before she started a full-time vegan doughnut business instead.

"When I applied ... after my undergraduate degree, I didn't get any interviews, so then I went on to grad school," she said. "Somewhere along that process, I think I kind of lost touch with the reason why I wanted to go to med school in the first place."

Windsor's favourite Shrove Tuesday food is now available for vegans. Jonathan Pinto told us more. 6:53

Last spring, Ropat decided to make and sell vegan chocolates for Easter. 

"Then one day, I was having a craving for doughnuts — and the rest is history," she said.

Ropat rents commercial kitchen space from Little Foot Foods on Tecumseh Road to produce her doughnuts, and sells them at places across the region.

She hopes to open a physical vegan doughnut shop one day.

The paczki dough is proofed twice before frying. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

Plant Joy's vegan paczki have to be ordered in advance — the last day to order is Thursday, Feb. 28.

Jonathan Pinto is CBC Windsor's "food dude." Know of a place you think he'd enjoy? Have a craving for a food you haven't been able to track down? Send him an email: jonathan.pinto@cbc.ca — and be sure to follow his adventures on Instagram.

About the Author

Jonathan Pinto is a reporter/editor at CBC Windsor, primarily assigned to Afternoon Drive, CBC Radio's regional afternoon show for southwestern Ontario. Email jonathan.pinto@cbc.ca.

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