Bites: Donuts deserving the hype at Hoopla, and Hutch helps out the Drop-In Centre

A hole in one

There’s a lot of hype about a new donut spot downtown and it’s worth the, uh, Hoopla.

It’s a natural next step for the duo who have created a small coffee empire in Calgary with Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters. After all, is there a more natural pairing than coffee and donuts?

This little shop in Calgary Place’s Plus 15, which opened not-so-quietly last week, has been gaining a lot of attention. Opening at 7 a.m. on weekdays, the donuts are flying off the shelves so quickly they are typically sold out by 10 a.m.

It’s been a learning curve, says Phil Robertson — one half of the Phil and Sebastian pairing — as they’ve tried to figure out how to keep up with demand. Scaling up production is easy when it comes to coffee, less so for baked goods.

Don’t want to take any chances and potentially miss out? You can always order ahead.

The tricky part is deciding what to have. Because, of course, the offerings at Hoopla go beyond a standard cruller.

Think Crème Brulee with a burnt sugar shell on one side, Raspberry Rose — a floral flavour underpinning the juicy raspberry glaze — or the tart tropical taste of Passionfruit. The donuts (which come in a number of vegan and gluten-free options) touch on old favourites (Rootbeer Float), the taste of nostalgia (Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Sugar) or the unusual (Matcha White Chocolate or Blueberry Cardamom).

Your choices may be limited if you don’t get there early enough, though.

Hoopla Donuts is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Find it at 248, 414 – 3 St. S.W. or online at

Hutch helping others

Holiday shopping can help Calgarians who need a little hand.

Hutch Kitchen, a local kitchenware company, has taken on a unique project to help people at the Drop-In Centre with meal service and cooking lesson programs by acting as a conduit in the collection of gently used cookware. In exchange for people dropping off pots and pans that Hutch can then send off to the shelter, donators are rewarded with a store credit ($20 to $50 off, depending) to purchase something new for their own kitchens or dining rooms.

The “Fill the Hutch” campaign has been running since October and will go until 6 p.m. on Dec. 31.

Hutch Kitchen recently added a new component to the campaign where people can purchase full cookware packages at a deeply discounted price for the Drop-In. The packages include a frying pan, casserole pot, knife and cooking utensils.

This way, you can wrap up a holiday gift for a loved one who has a passion for cooking — or gift yourself a little something from Hutch — while also helping others.

Find more information on the rebate-for-donations program or purchase one of the Drop-In cookware packages directly from

(Photos by Gwendolyn Richards.)

Gwendolyn Richards is a Calgary-based food writer and the author of Pucker: A Cookbook for Citrus Lovers. She regularly contributes to Avenue Magazine and She shares her cooking and eating adventures – and occasionally some of her shoes – on Twitter and Instagram at @gwendolynmr.