Keith Lee starts fundraising campaign to help GTA bakery relocate business from shed

Looks like TikTok influencer Keith Lee is stirring up attention in Toronto again, this time for his fundraising efforts.

Last month, Lee visited Toronto for his first international food tour, visiting seven restaurants across downtown, Scarborough and the GTA. One standout was Biscuits to Baskets, a home-based chocolate shop run out of a shed in Ajax. Known for its chocolates, nuts, baked goods, coffee, and caramel creations, the bakery has seen an explosion in business thanks to Lee’s visit. Unfortunately it will be forced to stop operating as the shed was deemed “not a suitable space for business.”

In a show of support, on Tuesday morning, Lee announced to his 16 million+ TikTok followers that he is crowdfunding to help open a new location for the bakery.

“This business, not only from a food perspective, but from customer service, from what they stand for, from the spirit of the people who work there—amazing in my opinion,” Lee said, explaining that the owners are being forced to move their business from out of their shed because “one person” complained to the city.

Lee shared a Cash App handle for U.S. residents (Biscuits2Baskets) and will share all proceeds with the bakery.

@keith_lee125 #stitch with @Keith Lee 💕 Keith Speaks 💕 God Is Amazing 🙏🏽 #foodcritic @Biscuits To Baskets ♬ original sound – Keith Lee

In an Instagram video  posted on Friday, Biscuit to Basket owners confirmed receiving a complaint about operating their business from a shed. This is due to a city bylaw prohibiting businesses from operating out of separate dwellings from their main house.

They announced that the business isn’t shutting down, but as of June 1, they will temporarily operate from the front of their main house. This move will ensure full compliance with Ajax laws regarding home-based businesses until they find another location.

“This will change where you come to pick up your goods and that’s about it,” the owners said in a statement on Instagram late last month. “For some context, we have been operating as a home-based business for 20 years and to the best of our knowledge we’ve been following all protocols. 5 years ago we decided to have a pick-up-and-go area which was our shop as you know it today. Unfortunately it must move.”

The owners added that business “has profoundly exploded” since Lee’s visit and they are as eager as ever to expand past the limitations that home-based business puts on them to confidently serve regulars and newcomers alike.

“Keith’s visit was a blessing and has definitely given us a push in the right direction but we are still very far away from funding anything bigger than what we have now,” the owners added, requesting the public’s help in seeking out a new home for their café.

“We are working hard as a family to find a commercial space by the Fall but it’s not guaranteed. It has to be right for us and it has to be right for you. We want to stay in Ajax. This is our home.”

Lee joined their live video, expressing that Biscuits to Baskets is one of his top five favourite businesses he visited. He was so impressed that he tipped the owners $2500 during his visit.

“There’s no reason you guys should be out of a house,” Lee said. “I think there’s so much love out here for what you do”

The owners mentioned that they’re not comfortable starting a GoFundMe campaign. Instead, they’re funding the opening of a new business home by selling Keith Lee-inspired merchandise, currently available for presale. They’re offering 500 pieces of the Keith Lee Effect Streetwear t-shirts for $35 plus tax each.

“We are super thankful to all of those who have been along on this journey thus far and we are excited — if not a little anxious to see where we go from here,” the owners said in their post.

Biscuits to Baskets is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at 49 Beatty Road, in Ajax.

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