Chow Bella

Robot FOOD: Phoenix's Local Vegan Bakery...With Doughnuts!

Photo by Dayvid LeMmon

​When you think of vegan baked goods, what comes to mind? For us, to be honest, it's unusual textures, an odd aftertaste, and lackluster presentation. Enter Robot FOOD. This little start-up is not just going vegan for their love of animals. Robot FOOD is about all natural, nutritious food that's as delicious as it is healthy. That's a tough challenge, but so far so good, if the company's debut at the Grand Avenue Festival over the weekend is any indication.

Jen Devroux and Jessica Shaffer have teamed up to bring Phoenix doughnuts, cookies, muffins, lollipops, and "winkies" (which intentionally rhymes with a popular snack) that are made naturally "from the ground up." One of the best parts is that their philosophy means NO powdered egg substitutes, the typical culprit for that vegan pastry aftertaste. Their goal is also to make their line of products gluten-free, using ingredients like millet flour and potato starch.

I had the chance to try a Jungle Fever doughnut, decorated with colorful Halloween sprinkles and an adorable vampire ring. It was just as satisfying as the average sugary confection. While it wasn't knock-your-socks-off chocolatey, it had great balanced flavor. My initial impression after devouring one was that these treats are:

Not greasy.
Not heavy.
100% satisfying and guilt-free.

Find out how to get your hands on some Robot FOOD after the jump...

If that's not enough, Robot FOOD injects as much fun into their doughnuts as they do flavor, with names like Fat Ballerina (vanilla with pink vanilla frosting); Jungle Fever, the "black and white cookie" of doughnuts; Asian Persuasion (a Midori donut topped with mango frosting); and Veruca Salt -- a purple/vanilla number with pear frosting.

The fun nature is designed to entice kids to the world of delicious vegan treats, but it works on adults, too. The ladies describe their business as the "Little Debbie of vegan pastries," and while those are big shoes to fill, they're on target to deliver.

Jen, a party promoter, first had the idea for Robot FOOD, and she serendipitously found Jessica, a pastry chef with as keen an eye for food as Jen has for style. Jessica studies food biology, and she can explain the chemical and physiological reason why vegan, gluten-free food is good for everyone, including carnivores. She was formerly a pastry chef at The W Hotel, and she now works for AJ's Fine Foods, just one of the local grocery stores that they hope will soon carry their confections.

Robot FOOD launched this past Saturday at the Grand Avenue Festival, and they are currently operating out of My Goodness Cakes on Grand Ave. Their products are baked to order, so shoot an e-mail to [email protected] to snag some for yourself. Or give them a shout on their Facebook page. For $5, you can get 3 regular-sized doughnuts or 6 minis.

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Dominique Chatterjee