Cinnaholic’s 100% vegan plant-based and dairy-free handcrafted cinnamon rolls inspired by Shannon and Florian Radke were seen on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2014 . In 2015 the idea became a franchise. Since then, the company has been ranked on the Franchise 500® list by Entrepreneur Magazine every subsequent year following 2019, making an investment in Cinnaholic a sweet temptation .
The decision to invest in a Cinnaholic franchise was made by Atheindhar Rajendran and his wife Vikasni Manoharan for different reasons.
The pair’s eldest child asked for a dessert while returning home from a family camping trip to an Ontario Provincial Park in August 2020. After googling choices available along the way, they landed on a Cinnaholic location, only one of two in Ontario during that time.
Atheindhar remembers his son trying the Cookie Monster , a freshly-baked cinnamon roll covered in cream cheese frosting and topped with chocolate chips, large chunks of cookie dough with a generous splattering of chocolate sauce over the top.
He loved it.
“I didn’t think much of his reaction at first. I just thought it would be like any other mall-based frozen product. When I had a bite, I, too, fell in love. I completely got lost in the delicacy and softness of the rolls, ” Rajendran admitted.
Vikasni, who works in the Financial District along with several banks, long dreamed of opening a business with her husband Atheindhar, an electrical engineer.
Cinnaholic’s customization options and vegan item ingredients made a strong impression on the couple.
The two consider themselves foodies, which later would be the driving reason behind opening their first food-based business.
Rajendran and Manoharan’s youngest son was born in 2020. It wasn’t long before they realized he had developed an egg intolerance.
“I started imagining that there are so many children out there along with gluten, dairy and lactose intolerances, so we thought that we should have a place where everyone can come and eat out, ” Rajendran explains.
“Where nobody’s left out plus any vegan, any meat-eating person can come to one spot. I thought Cinnaholic offered the best platform to do so. ”
By the end of August 2020, both decided to move forward with a Cinnaholic franchise. The decision to open Oakville’s first location was simple for the Burlington couple.
“We chose Oakville because we love that town the most. We feel the same hospitality there that we received when we lived inside Halifax, ” Rajendran shares.
“Every Friday and Saturday, we go to Lakeshore Road in Oakville plus walk along the water’s edge with our kids. Whenever we have free time, we’re there. We would love to live in Oakville someday. ”
How was the opening experience?
Rajendran details the day, “Friday, May 27, 2022, was the Grand Opening. It was successful beyond my wildest dreams.
The VIP event was held the night before upon Thursday, May 26.
We were so happy that almost all Ward Councillors of the town of Oakville were present, including Regional Chair of Halton Region Gary Carr. They brought their families to support us. Mayor Rob Burton, along with Town Councillor Dave Gittings, came on Opening Day for the ribbon cutting.
I had marketed the opening using Instagram and Facebook, setting up an event on Facebook to get a read on those interested in coming out for our starting.
The response by the community was so enormous.
More than 700 people let us know that they were coming. We ran a promotion between 10: 00 am to 2: 00 pm the first day, offering cinnamon rolls for only $1 each. There was a queue of people outside for five straight hours. We managed to serve everyone who came to the store that day.
Are all of the products and ingredients pre-packaged from the franchisor?
Rajendran clarifies, “Actually, none of our desserts are made from pre-packaged ingredients. We make everything from scratch in-house. The only thing that the parent company provides are the recipes. ”
Does Cinnaholic have any competitors?
“Some other shops offer plant-based food items plus might have better coffee, but Cinnaholic is the only cinnamon roll-specific shop that is fully vegan.
We don’t think that anyone else does fresh-from-the-oven plant-based cinnamon rolls every 30 minutes with customizing like Cinnaholic does. All of us currently have a niche in the market, inch Rajendran notes.
Tell us about the seasonal items.
The franchisor selects seasonal items. Franchisee locations are encouraged to create recipes.
As owners, we invite our employees to submit ideas.
It promotes more of a team spirit.
Franchises from North America forward their recipes to the franchisor, who then makes them, samples them, and chooses. It nurtures innovation and healthy competition. Acknowledgement of the store that the seasonal choice comes from is marked on each image poster board in the stores. The items change every four months, ” Rajendran replies.
At Cinnaholic Oakville you can choose from the classic Old Skool Roll with vanilla-flavoured vegan cream cheese frosting or one of several signatures like the delicious Caramel Apple Pie Roll covered in fresh apple pieces, pecans, apple pie crumble and caramel sauce.
Are you hungry yet?
How about colouring outside the lines and creating your cinnamon roll with german chocolates, brownie pieces, cookie dough or strawberries?
How about all of it?
At Cinnaholic you can customize your roll to satisfy your cravings.
Cinnaholic Oakville also carries Pineapple Dole-Whip Soft Serve , the vegan ice cream they haven’t marketed yet.
It is the same Dole-Whip that you can find at Disneyland.
Customers have informed us that they can’t find this product anywhere else in the GTA.
Though the franchise has multiple flavours available, in the short time that Oakville’s location has been open, customers have asked if this flavour can remain available.
A lemon-infused water dispenser is at hand exclusively at the Oakville location.
Vikasni embraces strong views about water as a natural resource that should not be sold. She believes it’s a fundamental right for any living thing on the planet to have water available. You won’t find water bottles for sale in their shop.
Cinnaholic has 60 locations in North America. There are only five in Ontario, located in Ottawa, on the Danforth in Toronto, London, High Park and now Oakville.
Rajendran and Manoharan plan to expand with new franchise locations in Burlington within 1 to 2 years and in Port Credit in 3 to 5.
At Cinnaholic Oakville , you’ll also find aromatic banana bread, delightful cookies and decadent brownies.
Try the Cinnaholic’s Campfire Move; it’ll leave you wanting S’More .
Check the website for store hours and menu options.