Torontonians take their baked goods very seriously; from doughnuts and cronuts to whoopie pies and cupcakes, they are a city that loves their sweets. When Cindy and Sarah, sisters and baking partners in crime, decided to expand their wedding cake business into a full-fledged bakery, Bake Shoppe, they knew they’d have to stand out. The Culture Trip Toronto caught up with Cindy Coelho to discover how she found her sweet spot in Toronto’s bakery scene with beloved, old-school treats.
How did Bake Shoppe get started? What were you doing before you opened Bake Shoppe? (Feel free to mention training/schooling, previous jobs/experiences, etc)
Bake Shoppe started after five years of owning The Wedding Cake Shoppe and selling just cakes and cupcakes. We realized how much the market is over saturated, and we wanted to do something different. We decided that we would add a sister shop to our name and rebrand the retail space into a bakery called Bake Shoppe. We couldn’t be happier with the change as we are now offering lots of unique nostalgic treats and still focusing on our wedding cakes.
You’ve been open for ten years! Have you had success from the beginning? What would you say has helped you advance this far?
It was a bit of a struggle in the beginning because I had to do lots of bridal shows to get our name out there, and once that happened, we continued to get busier every year. What has helped us advance this far has been having a small team work with us and keeping our quality standards very high.
We love your homemade take on the pop tart; what made the pop tart so appealing? Are there are any other old-school, packaged treats you hope to put a ‘Bake Shoppe’ spin on?
Growing up, we used to eat pop tarts all the time! Sometimes we’d eat them for breakfast and other times as an after school snack; we would toast them up and add a scoop of ice cream to them. Since that was our favorite nostalgic treat, we thought we would recreate them and add our spin to it when opening Bake Shoppe. Since introducing the pop tart, we’ve added a homemade Passion Flakie, homemade Hostess cupcake and we are working on another exciting one very soon!
From where do you get your inspiration for your creations?
We mostly get our inspiration from our favorite treats that we used to eat growing up, and we add our own spin to them.
What advice would you give to someone trying to break into the bakery business?
The advice I would give someone trying to get into the baking industry would be to never stop being creative and thinking of your own unique desserts that will set you apart from all the other bakeries out there. Always experiment, and don’t be scared to change it up and try new things while baking.
What are your favorite items on your menu? (What should people order the next time they pop into Bake Shoppe?!)
One of my favorites on our menu is our Ruffles marshmallow square. It’s the perfect combination of salty and sweet!
If you could make dessert for anyone, living or dead, who would it be? And what would you make them and why?
I would definitely make dessert for Martha Stewart. She’s really talented, and I would love to know her opinion and thoughts on my desserts. And who knows… she might love it so much that we’ll get an article written about Bake Shoppe in her next magazine!
What are your favorite spots or hidden gems in Toronto? (Could be coffee shops, galleries, anything!)
My favorite spots in Toronto are Fresh off the Boat, they have the best lobster rolls! I really love The Caledonian across the street from the shoppe. They have the craziest scotch menu, and the service is amazing!
What’s the most memorable moment from your career, thus far?
The most memorable moment of my career was when my sister/partner found the retail space on College, and after lots of discussion and planning, we signed the lease.
Quickfire Question Series:
Chocolate or Vanilla?
The AGO or The ROM?
Coffee or Tea?
Apple or Android?
Apple all the way
Early-bird or Night-hawk?
Gone Girl or Gone With The Wind?
Gone With The Wind
Bake Shoppe Hours:
Bake Shoppe, 859 College St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 916 2253