I have been eating a lot of baked goods lately.
This is not a hardship, but still, I maybe need to rein it in.
For one thing I am now on V5 of the products I am planning to launch and so I have analyzed and eaten my way through all those iterations.
But also over the last few months as the weather has warmed up and the pandemic has wound down, I have discovered that Toronto has added some really cool bakeries to its already outstanding tried-and-true ones such as Mabel’s Bakery, Bunner’s, Blackbird Bakery, Le Dolci and For the Love of Cake.
In naming a few, of course I am leaving out so many other wonderful ones but you get my point.
New ones that I have recently tried include Butter Baker which we spied across Dundas West when we were enjoying a patio brunch at Denny’s; Bonne Nouvelle, close to where we live, and Daan Go, the creation of Christopher Siu who just this year took home the top prize in Masterchef Canada All Stars.
At Butter Baker, I tried one of the best butter tarts ever – not a classic runny butter tart like we made in Saskatchewan but overall patisserie- wise, a decadent and sophisticated treat.
From Bonne Nouvelle, Andrew, Ted and I scarfed down a still-warm Kwabaegi, a twisted Korean doughnut made of deep fried croissant dough finished with cinnamon sugar.
I stumbled across Daan Go in Kensington Market after a visit to Blackbird Bakery and immediately faced a display case filled with cute and extraordinarily delicious desserts. One that I tried was called Lucky Duck: made in a little white “tub”, it turned out to be luscious layers of lemon curd, pistachio cream and almond sponge, topped off with a hand-painted white chocolate ducky.
I kid you not, the Toronto bakery scene is AH-MAZING.
I tell you all this because after my last post when I said I had closed the door on Prairie Girl and had a new concept, one of my friends said I was being mysterious.
In my lifetime I have never been called mysterious. Andrew says that every thought that crosses my mind immediately flashes on my face and this is true.
But what holds me back from sharing my plans is this: I really am not sure yet.
On the weekend, The Globe and Mail had a piece about Darryl White, CEO at BMO Financial Group, and his views about the economic boom awaiting us. White used terms like, “roaring”, “coiled”, and “I don’t know how you keep a lid on [the spending of capital that has amassed over the last 15 months].”
I think it’s going to be a crazy time ahead in a way we’ve never seen.
So there are all these things going through my mind: the opportunity that lies ahead for every business owner, old and new; the already vibrant offering from Toronto bakeries; and the personal desire to get it right after months of reflecting on what I loved about owning Prairie Girl, and what I did not.
Maybe you can relate: I sense a lot of people feel as I do, that as the pandemic winds to an end, there is more to be done than simply going back to what we knew before. There is also thinking about what we learned, checking out what has changed, and in the end, deciding how we each want to participate in what lies ahead.