Soft deep-fried dough, layered with a smooth Nutella spread and topped with sprinkles, marshmallows, and any other confection you can think of, smoothed out flat in the iconic shape of a beaver tail. Since the 1970s, BeaverTails pastries have been a must-try treat for anyone visiting Canadian landmarks like the Rideau Canal, Byward Market, and Niagara Falls. 

This uniquely Canadian sweet is so popular, former U.S. president Barack Obama just had to try one during his 2009 visit to Ottawa! This moment, an indelible moment of our national heritage, was forever commemorated in the form of the ObamaTail. 

But just where did this iconic Canadian delicacy originate from? How did it go from local curiosity to international hit? We set out to find out.

BeaverTail Origins

The origins of the BeaverTail pastry lie in the small town of Killaloe, Ontario located just outside of Ottawa. In 1978, Killaloe residents Grant and Pam Hooker knew they had something special on their hands when their family recipe for deep-fried dough pastries were a smash hit at the local crafts fair. Soon, the popularity of the succulent treat lead to the establishment of the now iconic BeaverTails pastry stands in the Byward Market and Rideau Canal in Ottawa. 

Over the course of the 80s, the popularity of BeaverTail pastries would spread across the Ottawa area and Eastern Canada, leading to the establishment of the first location outside of Ottawa in 1987 at the La Ronde amusement park in Montreal. The La Ronde stand was managed by a young university student named Pino Di Ioia, who would go on to become instrumental to the brand’s explosive growth as a franchisee and later CEO

In 2002, Di Ioia, his wife Tina Serrao and brother Anthony Di Ioia would go on to take over the BEAVERTAILS company management team. Under their guidance, the company’s rapid expansions slowed down so that a new operations-focused culture could take root, increasing the efficiency and quality of BEAVERTAILS company franchises. 

The three became majority owners in 2009 and oversaw increased expansion overseas. By the BEAVERTAILS company’s 40th anniversary in 2018, the delicious Canadian concoction had spread to 140 locations across six different countries, including South Korea and Japan. 

The Best Beavertails

The best thing about BeaverTails pastries is just their sheer variety. With that savoury fried dough canvass, all sorts of delicious masterpieces can be made ranging from a chocolate lover’s delight… 

…to a cheesecake-inspired opus.

And everything in between:

Whatever your tastes, chances are there’s a BeaverTail out there just waiting for you.

Choice Hotels in Canada