As iconic as the Playland Wooden Coaster or the Superdogs, the mini donut is an institution of the annual Fair at the PNE. Those Little Donuts, the original mini donut vendor, began selling the warm cinnamon and sugar covered miniature versions of its larger namesake in 1948.
The Edwards family from the Canadian prairies are credited with bringing the often-imitated mini donut to the Fair circuit when a member of their family, an engineer who worked for the Disney Corporation, was part of the team that developed the machines to make the miniature desserts as a publicity gimmick for the launch of the animated film “Thumbelina”. The astuteuncle, seeing the machines headed for the disposal bin after the film’s release, saved them from destruction and launched a path of fried goodness that is as much a part of a visit to a fair as a whirl on an amusement ride or the call of a midway pitchman.
When the nephew of the original owner, Steve Edwards, retired in 2012, he sold Those Little Donuts to his friend and fellow Canadian Nathan Maier. Nathan and his family carry on the great mini donut tradition, still with the original 1948 machines, at six Canadian fairs each year..and of course they’re always present at our annual IPE.
Over 2 million of Those Little Donuts are sold at the Fair at the PNE annually, meaning that sometime over the course of the fifteen days of the 2018 Fair, the Maier’s will sell the 100millionth mini donut ever at the PNE!
From Winnipeg to Vancouver, Those Little Donuts has become an institution at the fair with its one-of-a-kind donut machines and steadfast commitment to quality and great customer service. Everyone at the Fair at the PNE says happy birthday to this iconic piece of Fair history!