Let’s be honest. There are few things in life as indulging as a freshly baked, hot-out-the oven, melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon roll. Those cinnamon rolls with the gooey goodness and sugary scent that seem to fill you up before you even take a bite. Whether it be from grandma’s kitchen or a cruddy airport chain, pastry fans worldwide know the visceral power a delectable roll can evoke. Lucky for Berkeley residents, Cinnaholic on Oxford Street knows this too.
Established in 2010 by brand manager and vegan baker, as well as husband and wife, Florian and Shannon Radke sought to deliver gourmet, vegan baked goods to friends and family. Their closest kin were not the only ones who wanted a piece of the pie, though. In 2014, the dynamic duo pitched their brand on ABC’s reality show Shark Tank and hit the jackpot with a $200,000 investment offer from Robert Herjavec. Though they eventually declined the deal due to differences in vision, the television exposure propelled them into an overnight success, eventually leading them to a partnership with Atlanta Franchise Group.
Initially, it was presumed that Cinnaholic would experience the most growth in California, given its popular vegan lifestyle. Eighteen locations later, gluten lovers from Berkeley, California to Jacksonville, Florida could not be more pleased with these vegan sweets. Cinnaholic stays committed to its mission too, keeping all of their products dairy-free, lactose-free, egg-free and cholesterol-free -- even their baking sugars are derived from beets! Do not let their lack of animal products or ingredients mislead you, though; these buns are rolling in flavor.
As someone who has always been a little leery of vegan products, I was blown away by the flavor, texture and variety of the tasty treats. If you are like me, and tend to be incredibly indecisive when given too many options, Cinnaholic is your spot. With 20 frosting flavors and 22 different types of toppings, Cinnaholic knows how to appease the “I-want-a-little-bit-of-everything” customer. It is also not the kind of place to practice moderation.
I indulged in one roll with buttercream frosting and Oreo cookie topping and another with chocolate frosting, piled with a mound of cookie dough. Though two rolls certainly felt gluttonous, it is also the perfect kind of dessert to share with friends...or not. After all, there is no success like excess!