Tims ain’t got nothing on Bernie’s
Ever get a hankering for a delicious treat but don’t feel like going to your local Tims? Doughnut worry about a thing— there’s a solution.
Walking into Bernie Beigne, located on 23 Bernard St. in the Mile End, you are greeted with freshly glazed doughnuts hanging on drying rods.
Dean Giannarakis, alongside his father John, and family friend George Giannopoulos, opened the doughnut shop in May 2021.
Bernie Beigne itself is a very simple store from the inside. Walking into the shop, to your right, you can see the open area where the Giannarakis family dips the freshly fried doughnuts. The sweet-smelling glazes migrate up your nose and right when you walk in, the doughnut display catches your eye.
“I never thought in a thousand years that I would work with pastry. So, for me it was going in and learning the basics of how dough works. Knowing the science behind it and translate that into doughnuts,” said Giannarakis, speaking about his time in culinary school.
Behind the counter, every kind of topping imaginable is at John Giannarakis’ disposal, from Kit-Kats to caramels, from sprinkles to every kind of glaze. John is the creative mastermind behind all the doughnut creations. The famous pink glaze for their Simpson’s doughnut catches the eye from a mile away.
“The perfect doughnut, I haven’t created it yet. I always joke with Dean, and I tell him my dream is to make a sweet curry doughnut. When I perfect that, it will be the first of its kind, then I can retire,” says John Giannarakis.
Bernie’s is known for two types of doughnuts. They have their cake doughnuts, including the double chocolate and red velvet flavours. They also have the classic yeast-raised doughnuts, which include Simpson’s, Kit-Kat, Oreo and many more.
The decorating station at Bernie’s. Photo by Dalia Nardolillo/THE CONCORDIAN
They also sell drip coffee and their own merchandise. This includes caps, hoodies and mugs.
My personal favourite is the Simpson’s doughnut. The classic pairing of the sweet pink frosting with the light doughnut – you could easily eat a dozen more.
I also love the seasonal doughnuts that they make around Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s day. I always tend to go for the heart-shaped doughnut or the Lucky Charms decorated doughnuts.
For the family, quality is in the ingredients and great customer service.
“We didn’t open this because we wanted to be the best doughnut shop in town, we weren’t trying to pump our egos. We wanted to do something where it’s fun, you enjoy going to work every day, and you have to do it because your day starts at four in the morning,” says Giannarakis.