Halifax designer finds sweet, garlicky retail success in donair Christmas ornament

A Halifax man's homemade donair Christmas ornament idea has turned into a retail reality.

Oh, it’s happening.

A Halifax man who found online fame when he created a donair Christmas ornament using his “piece of junk” 3D printer and a repurposed motor is now selling the product to fellow donair aficionados.

READ MORE: Hot off the spit: Halifax designer’s donair Christmas ornament an online hit

Gary Marsh created the tiny replica of the East Coast favourite after finding inspiration in the 24-hour Donair Cam, operated by the King of Donair restaurant and Nova Scotia webcams.

He posted a video of his creation on Reddit, and the rest is donair history.

He received so much interest from people hoping to get their hands on the ornament that he decided to take it to retail. Marsh partnered with EurekaTec, a 3D printing company in Lower Sackville, N.S., to refine his design and create new packaging.

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READ MORE: Homesick for Halifax? Donair Cam offers a 24-hour livestream of Nova Scotia delicacy spinning on a spit

‘Crazy’ amount of interest

On Tuesday at midnight, the ornaments were listed on the company’s website for $14.99.

“Halifax’s own delicious, greasy, late night guilty pleasure can now be hung from your tree,” the ad touts.

Mohammed Issa, who founded Eurekatec, says demand for the ornaments has been “crazy.”

On a typical day, his website receives 10 visits. By noon on Tuesday, the website had registered more than 1,300 clicks.

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“We put 50 in stock yesterday night around midnight and today by 9 a.m., they sold out,” Issa said. “Ever since, we have a back order and my phone is just going crazy with orders.”

Issa says he has five 3D printers working on the ornaments full time, has more printers coming in, and has even called in backup. His small business, which normally has one employee, now has five people working on the ornaments.

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“I brought my wife, my sister and one of my regular customers,” Issa said.

He says the incredible interest in the ornaments has also revived his business.

“We’re trying our best to make ends meet and this thing is just great because it gets people looking at what 3D printing is as an industry,” he said.

“This is a great example of how quickly you can turn an idea into a product in hours.”

Sweet, garlicky success

Unlike Marsh’s original design, however, the ornament doesn’t spin.

“Making our own rotating ornament would involve finding a small motor that spins at the right speed, packaging it in a case, finding a way to power it, and getting CSA and other approvals done on it,” Marsh said.

“Suffice to say, all of that wasn’t going to happen in time for Christmas.”

WATCH: Halifax makes Donair the official food of the city

Marsh says even he is surprised by the success of his creation and that it has been a “weird, sleep-deprived odyssey.”

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“But people have been messaging me, telling me it’ll be the perfect Christmas gift to send to their homesick friend that has moved away and such,” he said.

“If I can put a smile on those people’s faces, it’ll be totally worth it.”

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