Growing with Pride: Edmonton's 2SLGBTQIA+ Businesses
“It means a lot to us that we've built what I hope is a comfortable space for our staff and our customers,” says Simon Underwood, owner of Doughnut Party. “Our shop motto is "everyone's invited" and we feel incredibly proud that we've created a welcoming space and a workplace where our staff, no matter who they are or how they identify, can feel comfortable.”
Underwood tells us that Doughnut Party started as a home-based, farmer's market business while he was working as a librarian and partner Matthew was working as a teacher. “We brought doughnuts to the first ever 124 Grand Market and sold out in minutes and have been making doughnuts ever since!” The couple opened their first storefront in 2017, then a second shop in 2020 in Ritchie, and their third shop in Old Strathcona in 2023.
“I feel the same way about owning a 2SLGBTQIA+ in Edmonton as I do about being a 2SLGBTQIA+ person in Edmonton - sometimes you can just feel a little bit isolated and alone,” adds Underwood. “We're fortunate to have connected with other queer businesses, and we know there's a great queer community here in town. We sometimes hesitate to fully put ourselves out there in the story of our brand, or to talk really honestly about ourselves as queer and as queer business owners, and I think that comes from a lifetime of always being a little bit worried about what other people might think. Moving past that is kind of lifelong work, that we're both getting better at. It feels cool to have created this big gay doughnut shop in Edmonton, and to have had so many people respond so positively to it.”