City Bakers Collective, the virtual bakeshop founded by two sisters, Alysa and Jenna King has just opened a brand new brick-and-mortar in the East end’s Danforth Avenue neighbourhood, thanks in large part to a super successful Kickstarter campaign that helped raise $40,000 to support the purchase of specialized equipment, signage and furnishings.
The company, which launched online in 2020, began as a way to unify the pair’s two baking brands, Bayfield Provisions and Bakewell and provide a virtual platform for other bakers in the city to showcase their own unique offerings online. After immense success, the pair decided to take a leap offline and open their very own production and bakeshop so more locally owned, online companies could share their eats with the masses. The physical space is just the next evolution of this goal: to serve as a rotating venue for up-and-coming bakers and small businesses to make and sell their own products under a common roof.
As explained on their Kickstarter page, City Bakers Collective hopes to be a space where they can nurture the exchange of skills between bakers and food-lovers, support the training of new bakers, and set a new standard for equitable working conditions in the food industry. Impressively, the campaign garnered 78 backers and achieved its bold goal of raising $40,000 to bring delicious, small-batch bakes to Toronto’s Danforth community.
In addition to Bayfield Provisions and Bakewell goodies, including bestsellers like crispy, chewy chocolate chunk cookies, lemon bars and savoury potato, spinach and feta pasty’s, patrons can expect to find a small curated selection of grocery and specialty food items from local makers. Some artisanal products available – and the sisters’ faves – include Mounib hazelnut chocolate spread, zambonelli Fine Foods dukkahs, Soul Mayan drinking chocolate, Moss Berry Farm Jams and a selection of Genuine Tea Co.’s organic teas.
Currently the team has Chuck from Johnson Family Bakery in-store selling his widely-acclaimed sourdough breads with plans for additional guest bakers and pop-up shops to make their way to the 1352 Danforth Avenue spot soon.
“The neighbourhood has been so great, telling us how excited they are that we are here,” says Alysa of the warm reception they’ve received even after just a few weeks of being open. “It’s really been an amazing welcome and we are so happy to be where we are.”
In the coming weeks, patrons can expect the same rotating, expertly curated market of the flakiest, chewiest, crispiest, richest, fluffiest baked goods come to mark the online presence of City Bakers Collective, with a few new in-person visitors. In the coming weeks the spot will welcome Backstage Bakeshop, the online, Annex-based bakeshop run by stage manager-turned-baker, where patrons can try her super-popular cheddar cheese bread and cinnamon buns.
Touting inspiration from both their mother and grandmother, Jenna and Alysa hope to provide the same kind of baking inspiration and teaching opportunities to other up-and-comers.
“What sets us apart? I think it’s all in the name! We really want to have a space that allows other bakers to launch and get support.”
Swing by the 1352 Danforth spot Thursday – Friday from 11:00a.m. to 5:00p.m., and Saturday – Sunday 10:00a.m. – 4:00p.m. Pre-orders are available anytime via the website.