Long Island "Vegan" Bakery Caught Passing Dunkin' Donuts Off As Vegan and Gluten-Free

Long Island's Savory Fig bakery tried to pass off Dunkin' donuts as its own, putting people with allergies at risk.

Jamie Bichelman - Author

Mar. 7 2024, Published 2:54 p.m. ET

A battle is brewing on Long Island.

Patchogue-based bakery Savory Fig was caught passing off Dunkin' Donuts-brand donuts as vegan and gluten-free to Cindysnacks, a nearby Huntington-based vegan market, the Cindysnacks owner claims.

In an Instagram post, Cindysnacks explained that a February 2024 delivery from Savory Fig contained a donut that stood out among the rest of the baked goods due to its use of mini D-shaped sprinkles.

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Here's everything we know about the incident and the potential legal ramifications, as well as how both businesses have proceeded since Savory Fig was exposed.

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Vegan grocer Cindysnacks caught its supplier, Savory Fig, passing off Dunkin' Donuts as its own.

Vegan grocer Cindysnacks sells nearby supplier Savory Fig's supposedly vegan and gluten-free baked goods to customers, and a delivery on Feb. 23, 2024 should have been just like any other.

However, as Cindysnacks co-owner John Stengel posted to the store's Instagram on March 3, one donut was decorated differently from the rest of the order. It was covered in sprinkles shaped like the letter "D," and bore a strong resemblance to a Dunkin' product.

"I pulled all of the items delivered out of our racks immediately and stored them in the back out of precaution until I could confirm what was or wasn’t happening here," Stengel wrote in the Instagram post.

Stengel and co-owner Indiana “Cindy” Kay (the store's namesake, according to Huntington Now) reached out to Michelle Siriana of Savory Fig to get to the bottom of the matter.

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"I raised my concerns respectfully, hoping a simple explanation with confirming evidence would clear this up," Stengel explained in the Instagram post, adding that the store co-owners were hoping that a "trusted fellow vegan small business wasn't doing something so horrific."

The conversation didn't provide sufficient evidence for Stengel and Kay to continue serving Savory Figs' baked goods to customers.

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Per Huntington Now, Stengel brought the incident to light because of his concern for the safety of customers with food allergies. Thus began a deeper investigation into the matter.

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Savory Fig's Michelle Siriana denied that her donuts were from Dunkin', so Cindysnacks conducted a test.

"These are definitely not Dunkin’ Donuts!" Savory Fig owner Michelle Siriana appeared to have stated in the text exchange posted to Cindysnacks' Instagram. In the alleged text conversation, Siriana then sent a link, at the Cindysnacks co-owners request, to the sprinkles she allegedly used.

The Cindysnacks team said they then ordered a bottle of the sprinkles Siriana claimed to have used. They discovered quickly that the sprinkles were not vegan, and did not match the ones found on the donut in question.

Stengel and Kay then dissected the donut and performed an EZ Gluten Test, which, according to the company's website, can detect gluten within 10 parts per million.

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As indicated in a photo of the results in the Instagram post, the test detected a "High Positive" presence of gluten in the donut. "We are mortified that we provided any of her products to our customers and our own family," Stengel wrote on Instagram.

In a followup post dated March 6, Stengel wrote that the Division of Food Safety and Inspection as well as the Suffolk County Department of Health were notified. It's unclear if legal action will be taken against Savory Fig.

Stengel acknowledged the viral nature of the incident and mentioned in the post that Cindysnacks will not grant interview requests.

Green Matters has requested an interview from Siriana, but as of the time of publishing, we have not received a response.

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A Dunkin Donuts store as seen in the Netherlands.
Source: iStock

Are Dunkin' donuts vegan?

No, Dunkin' donuts are generally not vegan. According to Plant Based News, vegan options at the international chain are available only in certain regions (like Belgium) or for a limited time.

Per the Dunkin' Allergen and Ingredient Guide, many of the chain's products contain egg, milk, and wheat. If these donuts really were being served at Cindysnacks, which is likely frequented by customers who follow vegan diets or are allergic to milk or wheat, it could put them at risk of serious allergic reactions — and put Siriana and Savory Fig at serious risk of a lawsuit.

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