niche drama

Did This Bakery Try to Pass Off Dunkin’ Donuts As Vegan?

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Getty Images

Doughnut drama alert: The Long Island vegan community is in shambles thanks to a purported pastry scammer. It all started last week when John Stengel, the co-owner of Cindysnacks vegan market in Huntington, posted on Instagram about discovering what appeared to be a Dunkin’ doughnut mixed in with what were supposed to be vegan and gluten-free baked goods to sell in the market. According to Stengel, the doughnut in question came from the Savory Fig, a Long Island bakery that claims to feature fully vegan and partially gluten-free items.

Concerned about the doughnut’s resemblance to a (famously not vegan or gluten-free) Dunkin’ doughnut, Stengel sent a text message to the Savory Fig owner, Michelle Siriani, writing, “If these are Dunkin’ Donuts the ingredients could kill somebody as we have many ppl with severe dairy allergies that shop here.” According to Stengel’s screenshots of the exchange, Siriani defended her doughnut, writing, “These are definitely not Dunkin’ Donuts!” and “I would never do that!” Still, that didn’t answer the question of why the doughnut was covered with pink and orange “D” sprinkles. When asked to send a photo of the sprinkles she used, Siriani allegedly sent an Amazon screenshot of a package of multicolored “Birthday Alphabet” sprinkles. Apparently, she wanted Stengel to believe that she painstakingly picked out the pink and orange Ds?

Stengel was determined to get to the bottom of this and apparently tested the suspicious donut for gluten content. The result? High positive. “There is a certain mutual trust and respect the vegan community, especially small businesses, have amongst ourselves,” Stengel wrote in his post. Referring to the incident as “disgusting perjury,” he added, “We want all our customers and community to know that we take this betrayal extremely seriously and are looking into legal action.”

Meanwhile, the Savory Fig Facebook page has been decimated with negative reviews. As for Cindysnacks, the owners since shared an Instagram update noting that they’ve contacted the supervisor at the Division of Food Safety and Inspection from NY Agriculture and Markets. (New York health authorities confirmed to the Washington Post that they are looking into the accusations.) Adding that they are not interested in being “viral,” Cindysnacks said it will not be participating in any interviews or making any further statements.

We have reached out to the Savory Fig for comment and will update this post when we hear back.

Did This Bakery Try to Pass Off Dunkin’ Donuts As Vegan?