top of page

Oso Cookies & Donuts: From a Shared Kitchen to 3 Upcoming Storefronts

Oso Cookies & Donuts is more than just a gourmet bakery; it's a haven for decadent cookies, donuts, and savory delights. Nestled in the Victoria Public Market, Oso Cookies & Donuts has operated out of Coho’s shared kitchen space since 2023. 


Owners Claudia Roman & Matthew Dupee found each other through a mutual love for desserts, leading to the creation of a beloved bakery that's become a local favourite in downtown Victoria. From humble beginnings at local farmers' markets to experimenting with mobile ordering platforms and catering events, their journey has been nothing short of inspiring. Just one year in, they've cultivated a loyal customer base and are set to open two new storefronts this summer!


Read on to discover Claudia and Matt’s origin story, how they’ve scaled their hyper-local business model, and what exciting things are in store for their upcoming expansions.


Oso Cookies & Donuts owners Claudia Roman & Matthew Dupee standing behind a spread of food

Love, love, love...

What's the origin story of Oso Cookies?

Oso Cookies & Donuts was created by Claudia & Matthew in 2023. Before their venture, Claudia was immersed in the world of banking, while Matthew honed his culinary skills in the restaurant industry. Their paths crossed at La Cantina in Whistler, where Matthew was Head Chef and Claudia was General Manager. Today, they’re not only partners in business but also in life, sharing a beautiful family with two young daughters.


“After some time working together, we fell in love and began sharing recipes and our passion for cooking throughout our relationship. We would try new recipes and experiment with decorating cookies as a shared hobby.


Our cookies were very ugly at first, but once we found the balance of maintaining flavours while looking elegant and mouth-watering, we decided to put our creations to the test and start selling them from our home kitchen.”



Growing the business

What inspired you to build your business?

Oso Cookies’ first sales channel was Facebook Marketplace. After dipping their toes in the water, they expanded their community by joining local farmers' markets and pop-up events around Victoria.


“We just sent emails and applied to everything we could to drive successful results. Shortly after, our production increased to the point where we knew we had to look for a professional kitchen to follow health standards and gain access to commercial-grade equipment.”


Why a shared kitchen?

Why did you choose to work in a commissary kitchen?

“We found Coho Commissary during our search for a commercial kitchen space. We liked that our production and storage could all be in one place. Being in a larger kitchen, they were able to expand their menu to serve sandwiches and lattes in addition to their classic cookies and donuts. The greatest part about being in the Victoria Public Market specifically was the added visibility of our products in a storefront space. 


We’ve also received a lot of help from the Coho team. Their support in all areas, in addition to their incredible facilities, truly helped us become one of the most popular dessert companies in the city.”



Plans for the future

What are your long-term business growth plans?

In their first year, Oso Cookies won big at Victoria News’s Best of the City Awards 2023, being named Best Cookies and Donuts in the city and runner-up for Best Bakery. This year, they were nominated for Best New Small Business and Best Independent Bakery.


“We are very proud of everything we’ve achieved so far. We have expanded our staff and are ready to continue growing. All the tireless work we put into OSO is driven by our dream of running the dessert cafe we always wanted.”


This month, Oso opened its very own Dessert Café at the Bay Center Mall. But their growth doesn’t stop there—they’re opening another location at Mayfair Mall this summer. Oso means Bear in Spanish. Claudia & Matthew’s goal is for their customers to experience the warmth and affection of a tight bear hug (“Abrazo De Oso”) every time they eat our treats or visit their cafe.  



Tips for other small businesses

Can you share any advice for future food entrepreneurs?  

“I believe that in addition to being organized, determined and dedicated, one of the most important traits of a successful food entrepreneur is to be prepared in all the areas of your business.


Know your products and do whatever it takes to make them perfect. Always keep your standards high, while working effectively and efficiently. With those three pillars, love and passion will make the rest work.


Enjoy the process and try to avoid stressing by thinking about the solution, not the problem! This will keep you motivated and happy every day, which will translate to the quality and performance that your customers feel.”

Assorted donuts held in hands

Full sweets ahead

With more growth on the horizon, Oso Cookies has no plans of slowing down. “We are dedicated to making every dining experience in our kitchen memorable,” the couple says. “Our menu reflects a balance between tradition and innovation, as well as a high standard of quality and integrity. We believe in love and doing things with passion above all else, and we hope people taste and feel that value in our delicious desserts.”


Find Oso Cookies’ newest location in the Bay Centre’s fourth-floor food terrace at 1150 Douglas Street, now open from 10 am to 6 pm.


Learn more about our shared commercial kitchen space at the Victoria Public Market, ideal for wholesale food production, virtual restaurants, catering companies, and CPG producers.



Comentarios


bottom of page