We are lucky to have such a great selection of local businesses to visit across our regions. But what if we told you there are some extra special entrepreneurs, whose businesses should be at the top of your priority list to visit this spring?
These two shops all started with the imagination of some of the youngest entrepreneurs our region has seen. The stories of how they came to be are just as impressive as the businesses themselves. If you have a sweet tooth and are looking for a great conversation starter, run, don’t walk, to these two spots this year!
Mini Donut Factory
15504 Yonge St., Aurora
Mini Donut Factory is owned by 13-year-old Aayesha Saleh and her family. They sell all sorts of unique and creative types of homemade mini donuts. Think flavours like Blueberry Cheesecake, Fruity Pebbles or Cookies’n’Cream.
The story of how Aayesha’s business started is a good one. It all began during pandemic lockdowns, when she was only 11 years old.
Aayesha’s parents tasked their kids with weekly projects at home. One week, all of the siblings were asked to create and research a business plan to present to their parents, as if they were contestants on Dragon’s Den. Aayesha presented her mini donut idea, and the business was born.
Despite Aayesha being the face of the brand, Mini Donut Factory is truly a family endeavor. They began making donuts out of their home during the pandemic, but soon moved to their storefront location, where you can find them today. Her parents, and most often she and her siblings, are working the cash, making the donuts and selling to customers–often on weekends only.
On top of creating delicious donuts to pick up from their store, you can also put in custom made-to-order requests for special events like birthday parties, holidays or even gender reveal parties.
Matt’s Ice Cream Shoppe
221 Queen St., The Piano Inn & Cafe, Port Perry
Another local young entrepreneur business to support is Matt’s Ice Cream Shoppe. It’s owned by Christy Stone-Curry and her son, 9-year-old Matt, who makes all the decisions. They do a seasonal pop-up at The Piano Inn & Cafe, and offer a surprising variety of tasty treats.
Matt’s Ice Cream Shoppe started in 2021 when the Stone-Curry family was renovating the space with the intention of expanding the Piano Cafe. When the pandemic locked down restaurants, Matt suggested turning the space into an ice cream parlour with a patio. They decided that with their fridges, freezers and the space, it was an excellent idea.
Their first pop up was in the spring of 2022. On top of the expected delights like homemade soft serve or Matt’s choices of Kawartha Dairy ice creams, they offer other delicacies to bring their community together. You can order a warm Hank’s Apple Fritter ice cream sandwich, served on a fritter from Hank’s Pastries down the road. They also have sundaes, root beer floats, and even ice cream cocktails.
Their licensed patio on Port Perry’s main street is the perfect place to catch up with a friend and try one of their inventive cocktails. Think of something like a Baileys Floatini with a scoop of Kawartha Dairy, whipped cream, Baileys and chocolate shavings. Or a Cherry Bellini Float, with Cherry Bordeaux ice cream, vanilla ice cream, cranberry juice and Prosecco.
One of the best things about this local business is that Matt and his family love to give back. Matt has selected a few ways to give, like choosing a five-year-old soccer team to sponsor this year. He also has a humane society fund, which he gave $300 to from last season’s earnings. You can find Matt working on most Saturdays, and he usually has a friend in tow to help him out. When you visit, make sure to say hi if you see him there!
Matt’s Ice Cream will be open 7 days a week this year, starting on May 19th, 2023. Matt’s new Kawartha Dairy flavour for this year is Moon Mist. He also has plans to add homemade pies and more desserts to the menu, which will be undoubtedly delicious.