McGill students are known for their love of samosas. The crunchy snack is central to the university’s culture. However, Krispy Kreme doughnut sales are growing in popularity day by day, making their way up the McGill food hierarchy to threaten the dominance of samosas at McGill.
While it is now quite common to find a Krispy Kreme sale when walking through campus, the sales only started recently—the first one this year was held on Sep. 13, 2017 in the McConnell Engineering Building by McGill’s Tashan Dance Company.
“We chose [to sell] Krispy Kremes because it was something different,” Misra Isabel Trana, U1 Arts and VP communications of Tashan Dance Company said. “Everyone sells samosas but not everybody enjoys them, so Krispy Kreme was a nice alternative.”
Although rising in popularity, hosting a Krispy Kreme sale takes a lot more effort than one might expect. For Mary Thieffry, U2 Arts and VP Fundraising for McGill Women in Leadership, getting the doughnuts was the most difficult part of the process. Unlike Pushap, the primary samosa supplier for McGill sales, Krispy Kreme does not deliver directly to campus.
“The closest Krispy Kreme store is almost an hour away from Downtown by public transit,” Thieffry said. “I had to wake up extremely early to go get them and then carry a bunch of boxes in the metro to bring them back to campus.”
Yet, even though transporting the doughnuts was time-consuming, Thieffry admitted that it made up for the labour that goes into holding traditional bake sales.
“Our sale was quite successful, we made as much as a very good samosa sale would make,” Thieffry said, “If you’re looking to sell something sweet, what’s nice about Krispy Kremes is that you and your team don’t have to spend a night baking. Also, Krispy Kreme sales are always popular and sell out fast which means that you can make just as much of a profit as you would during a bake sale in much less time.”
Although many students are willingly hopping on the Krispy Kreme bandwagon, some student groups have sold the doughnuts instead of samosas purely out of necessity. Global Brigades, a student-run club at McGill, ran their first-ever Krispy Kreme sale in the McConnell Engineering Building on March 23. Although they were initially hoping to run their usual samosa sale, the competition for tabling spots left them no choice but to try selling the new food option.
“We were only able to sell using the sweet table,” Vivian Luong, Global Brigades member said. “We usually sell samosas but you can only sell samosas at the designated samosas-selling table. If the table is already booked by another club then no other club can sell samosas in that area at that time.”
Despite the rising prominence of doughnuts, competition to get a samosa table remains high—an indication that the classic meal still holds a strong seat in the campus snack world. For Olivia Lockbaum, member of the McGill Martlets Field Hockey team, samosas will always remain her favourite go-to tabling option.
“As an athlete, samosas make both a great pregame and post practice snack,” Lockbaum said.“Three samosas can make a lunch, so many students enjoy the typical one-for-one dollar or three-for-two dollar samosa deal, whereas doughnuts are not as fulfilling and cannot really be treated as a lunch.”
Ultimately, the future of the most popular tabling food on campus remains unclear. While samosas are—and always have been—a classic go-to, the excitement of a new option has been enticing for many sellers and hungry students alike.
“Holding a Krispy Kreme sale was definitely better [than a samosa sale],” Trana said. “We were able to sell [the doughnuts] individually and in boxes of dozens. They sold out super fast because everyone loves doughnuts to be honest.”