Eva Longsworth was born in Belize City in 1988 and grew up in Corozal Town. At the age of eight she began experimenting with cooking. It was natural to follow in the footsteps of a long line of family members who were in the food industry. Her Grandmother Guadalupe Longsworth owned and operated the Po’ Bouy Restaurant in the 1970’s. Eva’s aunt Gloria Longsworth operates a catering company and also makes made-to-order cakes.

[Linked Image]Eva graduated from Corozal Community College and St John’s Junior College in the City. She then set her sights on the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Houston, graduating in 2013. She completed a one-year internship as a Sushi Chef at Benihana Restaurant, then six months at Shipley’s Donuts before returning to Corozal.

Upon her return Eva searched for work and landed some choice positions such as Executive Chef at Jaguar Reef Lodge, Caye Chapel and the Hour Bar & Grill in Belize City. In 2016 she was the winner of Taste of Belize (Master Chef Belize) hosted by the Belize Tourism Board. She was also the Executive Chef of the Deputy Chief of Mission Residence at US Embassy in Belmopan. In 2017 Eva started a culinary consultancy business for restaurants including Cielo’s Restaurant at Tony’s Inn & Beach Resort and Mama Caribe Restaurant at Captain Morgan’s. During that time, she was also doing catering, small projects and travelling with BTB representing Belize in the 2018 and 2019 Taste of the Caribbean competitions.

In February 2019 she wanted a donut. She made one and it wasn’t up to her standards, she adjusted the recipe and made another and another. She continued in her quest for a delicious donut, needless to say, there were donuts everywhere and Eva was giving them away. She knew she was very close when a box of her latest recipe went out to a meeting at Tropic Air with her brother and the response was overwhelming; everyone wanted her donuts! It took 24 revisions by the time she had her donut and unknowingly, her future.

She began selling her handcrafted gourmet donuts out of her house with a once a week sale. Slow and steady her product and business began to grow. A business name was essential and with the help of her 3-year-old nephew who just couldn’t get the word donut out, instead doni and dodits, hence the unique name… Doni & Dodits. The weekly sale evolved to three times a week, then into daily requests from Eva’s customers. This gentle, intelligent, soft spoken woman was on her way!

Construction of her shop in Ranchito Village began in December 2019 and completion was in September 2020, not the most opportune time with Covid in full effect. Pre-Covid Eva’s business was doing fantastic, over the past year business has been steady which is a blessing during these tough economic times.

Eva always wants her product to be accessible and began delivery to Brodies in late 2020, but placed it momentarily on pause, as she continues product development in offering the very best. She has a staff of four working alongside her, 150 flavours with everything made from scratch. That translates to long hours. During Covid and curfew her day begins at 3:30 am with staff arriving at 5:30 am. Her business doors open at 8:30 am closing at 7pm, continuing to prep for the next day, she hits her pillow around 10pm. Eva works with local and national couriers to move her product and is adamant about sourcing and using Belizean ingredients.

Being Women’s Month, I asked what it is like to be a woman in the culinary world. Her chosen word was “difficult” in an industry dominated by males, yet in Belize being a woman in the business does allow for creativity and freedom due to, sadly enough, low expectations. She certainly has surpassed low and high expectations in creating the country’s most delicious, decadent donuts. As I interviewed her on a Saturday evening …during her “slow time” of the day, several customers came to purchase, even customers from Cayo stopped to collect their orders.

An amazing success story already, when asked what success means to her? Answering with hopes to have a donut shop in every district. We applaud her courage and talent in creating a successful business in Corozal while filling a niche in the market countrywide.

Check out the Doni & Dodits Facebook page to see what deliciousness is all about!!

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Corozal House of Culture