Bakery Allegedly Tries To Pass Dunkin' Donut Off As Vegan

When John Stengel and Indiana Kay opened Cindysnacks in 2019, they wanted to create a safe place for vegans and people with allergies to buy food. As Stengel told Huntington Now that same year, "We ultimately wanted to offer people a guilt-free place to shop where you don't have to check labels." Now, the owners of the Long Island-based vegan market are accusing one of their suppliers of putting customers' lives at risk by allegedly selling Cindysnacks products from Dunkin' (formerly known as Dunkin' Donuts).

The saga began on February 23, when Cindysnacks received a pastry delivery from Savory Fig, a vegan and gluten-free bakery founded by Michelle Siriani in 2020. Among the treats was a singular donut that raised Stengel's suspicions, as he explained in a lengthy Instagram post on March 3. The donut in question had glossy pink frosting plus a smattering of pink and orange D-shaped sprinkles.

Because Dunkin' uses both dairy and gluten in its donut recipes, Stengel evidently reached out to Siriani on Instagram to inquire about the donut's origins and whether or not it was safe for Cindysnacks' customers, some of whom have severe food allergies. "I will keep this conversation between us, but please tell me the truth," Stengel apparently wrote to the vendor, adding, "I don't want to kill anybody with a severe allergy." Siriani promptly responded, saying, "These definitely aren't Dunkin' Donuts!"

Cindysnacks asserts that the donut came from Dunkin'

In what seems to be a private exchange later made public on Instagram, John Stengel continued to press Savory Fig owner Michelle Siriani about the suspicious donut. As the D-shaped sprinkles seemed oddly specific, he asked for a photo of their container. Siriani replied with a link to multicolored alphabet sprinkles that she claimed to have purchased on Amazon.

This kicked off a full-blown investigation by Stengel and his partner, Indiana Kay, who ordered the alphabet sprinkles for comparison. As demonstrated in a side-by-side photo included in the Instagram post, it's clear that the sprinkles Siriani purported to have used are drastically different from those pictured on the donut. Stengel says Kay and he then purchased an at-home gluten test, which allegedly determined that the donut did, in fact, contain the allergen. "We can only assume, given this recognizable logo design, where these donuts really came from and what other ingredients they might contain," Stengel wrote on Instagram.

While Cindysnacks' owners used the opportunity to apologize to their customers for the breach of trust, they also indicated that they may pursue legal action against Siriani for the supposedly-fraudulent sale. Siriani has yet to comment, and Savory Fig's Instagram account has since been deactivated. The business' Facebook page, however, remains active and is now flooded with comments condemning Siriani's apparent deception. Regardless of how this saga ends, it's not the first scandal involving the Dunkin' brand.