Vegan & Vegetarian in Utah

#47: The Big O Doughnuts - 100% Vegan, and Slightly Naughty

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In early 2015 Ally Curzon and her mom Jessica Curzon were driving through Salt Lake City when they were hit with a craving: they wanted a doughnut. While Utah has some fine doughnut options, none would work for the Curzon family because they are vegan -- and vegan doughnuts can be hard to come by.

It was then that a craving turned into a business idea. Ally and her mom drove home to share their new idea with Ally's 15-year-old sister, Leah, but were met with skepticism. Leah had seen her mom's last food project, a small chocolate truffle business, start with high hopes... but never get off the ground. So Leah Curzon issued her mom a challenge: "Mom, this can't be one of those things you don't follow through on."

So Jessica hit the kitchen with her daughters, working toward a perfect vegan doughnut. And when they felt they had the recipe dialed in, they rented a booth at a local farmer's market in town. They were received well, which led their doughnuts into Sugar House Coffee and a few other local coffee shops in town. With momentum, lots of passion, some newfound fans from their Farmer's Market presence, and their unique vegan doughnuts, Jessica Curzon put a new commercial kitchen on a credit card and went all in, rising to meet her daughter's challenge.

Today we're joined by Jessica Curzon, her 15-year-old daughter Leah Curzon, and Jessica's boyfriend and business partner Zak Farrington, to talk about their journey starting an all-vegan doughnut shop and their upcoming new location at 171 E Broadway in downtown Salt Lake City, where they'll open in just a few weeks.

For more information or to browse our episode archive, visit theutahfoodie.com or follow us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter. See you next week!

#19: Zest Kitchen & Bar - Healthy eating with Casey Staker

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Zest Kitchen & Bar is a 3-year old restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City that was launched by Casey Staker in late 2012. It's an organic, vegetarian, gluten-free restaurant with a fresh juice cocktail bar and they’re right on 275 S 200 W — across from Red Rock, right around the corner from Squatter’s and the convention center. Zest is trendy, it’s upscale, and their food is lightweight and healthy. And at night, the cocktails flow — all fresh juice and ingredients but with a creative twist. Drinks like a jalepeño margarita, a ginger spice whiskey cocktail with a fresh apple slice, and a summer beet sangria.

But on the weekend nights, Casey's history in the nightclub business shows through: at 10p on Friday and Saturday nights Zest has music and dancing, and the small vegetarian restaurant goes from dinner to nightclub, with great DJs, music, and club atmosphere.

Casey Staker’s career started in 2004 when he bought in to a new nightclub at the time, the W Lounge. And almost 10 years later, Casey closed it down to pursue his next project — a place he would actually want to hang out at… a restaurant with healthy food and drinks that’s open late, and he could go to on the weekends. So in 2012, Zest Kitchen & Bar was born.

On today's show, we sit down with Casey Staker to talk about his life growing up in rural Utah, to running one of the hottest clubs in Salt Lake City, to today where he works out of Zest, dreaming up healthy food and cocktail menu items, and planning for expansion. Tune in.

 

Zest Kitchen & Bar 275 S 200 W, Salt Lake City 801-433-0589 http://www.zestslc.com

For more info visit theutahfoodie.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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