Hellgate Grad Opens Vegan Donut Shop On The Hip Strip

Ali Caudle, Reporter

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Ali Caudle
Veera Donuts is open daily from 7-7, and is located at 617 S Higgins Avenue.

A new shop on the Hip Strip, Veera Donuts, opened its doors around a month ago. Before opening their storefront, Veera Donuts was a popular stand at the Farmer’s Market. They specialize in vegan donuts, and 100% of their products are 100% vegan.

 

Before Veera was the name of a donut shop, it was the name of a small chihuahua belonging to a 30 year old Missoula native. Her name is Haniah Sweeney, and she is the owner of Veera Donuts. Sweeney is also a Hellgate High School alum, and graduated in ‘07. She has been vegan for 6 years now.

Sweeney said, “I became vegan for a number of reasons – health, animal agriculture’s impact on climate and the environment… climate change.” As a self-proclaimed animal lover, she

Ali Caudle
Hellgate students McKenna Storment, Jaime Eppich, Nick Christensen, and Emery Girouard hang out at Veera Donuts during lunch.

set out to make a great tasting vegan donut so that vegans like her could enjoy specialty donuts.

Sweeney said, “I’ve always had a passion for cooking and baking. When I decide to take on a hobby I become obsessive and try to perfect it the best I can. My goal was to make a donut not only a vegan, or a person sensitive to dairy, could eat, but also [a donut] good enough that a non-vegan wouldn’t know the difference.”

Ashley Young, a Hellgate sophomore, thinks she succeeded. Young isn’t a vegan, but she said, “Honestly, the dough part of the donut tasted way better than a normal store bought donut from the convenience store.”

Missoulians seem to agree. It’s been one month since Veera Donuts opened, and they’re already made quite a name for themselves, racking up an average rating of 4.6 stars (out of 5) with 27 reviews on Google.

Ali Caudle
Veera Donuts employee Carly rearranges the donuts in the display case.

Carly, who has been an employee at Veera Donuts since they opened, explained why she thinks Veera is so special. She said, “We are fully vegan, everything is plant-based in the store, and we try to offer a variety of options as well.”

That variety of options is part of Veera’s appeal. They offer 20 different donuts, enticing people to come back to try another flavor. This strategy works for Clara Tallent, who is a sophomore at Hellgate.

Tallent said, “I love Veera! It’s super fun to try all of their fun and creative donuts. I’m not even much of a donut person but I love their donuts.”

Ali Caudle
The Love Buzz Donut is topped with chocolate ganache, coffee buttercream, and raspberry dust.

When asked which donuts were the most popular, Carly said, “I would say the War Pig, with maple [imitation] bacon, or the White Zombie, with coconut.”

Ali Caudle
Haniah Sweeney’s favorite donut: the Motherload.

Young tried the White Zombie, described as being topped with a vanilla bean glaze, coconut buttercream, and coconut flakes, and exclaimed that it was “so yummy!”. Carly prefers the Pink Kashmir, with strawberries and cream. Tallent especially loved the gluten free ones, like their Blueberry Babe with fresh blueberries and blueberry glaze.

As for Sweeney’s favorite donut? She said, “Oh man, that’s a tough question… the Motherload.” Her choice is one of their classics, a donut topped with chocolate ganache, cookie butter filling, and chocolate chip cookie dough.