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Supplier Series: Donsig Cones
What would a scoop of your favourite ice cream be without the cone? Less than magical, that's for sure. When deciding where to source the cones that fill our Tasting Room, we didn't need to search further than our own community and the cherished local business Donsig Cones.
Donsig Cones is a small, family-owned factory in Waterloo that specializes in all-natural, homemade waffle cones. The current owner and super woman, Jane, has been running the show for the last 13 years of Donsig's 31 years in business. When Jane bought the business from a family friend 13 years ago, she never imagined the loyalty and respect for quality that she has seen over the years.
The team at Donsig Cones is a total of seven people, including their two drivers that distribute cones to around 400 customers all over Ontario. Jane explains that all of her customers are "mom & pop shops", since franchised ice cream businesses such as Baskin Robins and Marble Slab receive their cones and supplies from head office and are likely produced outside of Canada. Four All Ice Cream is the one of few "scoopers" as Jane calls it in KW that purchases her cones.
An average day for Jane starts at 4:30am and is filled with lots of phone calls to customers, overseeing production in their small factory, and setting out driving routes for deliveries. She lends her hands in all parts of the business by the end of the day, including making the cone batter, washing the floors, and picking and packing the cones.
Back when Jane bought the company in 2003, the Donsig team was hand-rolling all of their cones. Now, they have a designated machine that makes the same movements to make the cones autonomously. This machine has turned what would be an 18 hour job into an 8 hour job.
Despite being a very specialized product in the industry, Donsig Cones is intrinsically connected to the global food system and relies on the support of the KW community. Even something as broad as the weather in the summer months comes down to decisions about ingredients that Jane has to navigate for her cones and many customers. "The small business support [in Kitchener-Waterloo] is what helps us to do so well", Jane says.
Thank you Jane for providing us with the best cones for our ice cream!