A new bakery in the Beaches

Yesterday was one of those days I wish I could experience more often. It started off with one of my favourite weekend activities, a trip to St. Lawrence Market to pick up some fresh produce and visit my favourite kitchen-supply store, and then it quickly improved with a long-overdue visit (and project-planning meeting) with Lisa. Little did I know that just a few hours later I would be visiting the latest addition to the city’s vegan offerings—Tori’s Bakeshop, a brand new, organic, vegan bakery located in the Beaches, and just minutes from my own home! This day could not have been better.

A Facebook tip-off that morning led me to this gem of a cafe. Thankfully, my husband and I had already planned on a run along the boardwalk that afternoon, so a little convincing on my part meant we could plan our visit accordingly: after our run, when we were exhausted and sweaty, but also thirsty and deserving of a treat.

As soon as we walked in, we were greeted with smiles and a gorgeous display of homestyle vegan delights with some gluten-free options. Doughnuts, cookies, cupcakes and tarts were among the cruelty-free, organic selection that day.

You wouldn’t know it by the friendly, professional staff and steady flow of customers that this place had just opened a week earlier. The fresh, charming atmosphere and decor, the supportive and curious customers, and the assortment of offerings all made this place feel like it has enjoyed success in this perfect beach location for a long time.

Aside from the main attraction—the baked goods!—it’s the custom details that really bring this place to life: chandeliers made from mason jars hang over the tables; extra lighting at the front display look like large stand-mixer whisks; and reclaimed stained-glass windows separate the cafe from the bakery at the back, encouraging patrons to peer in and see what vegan baking is all about.

Although the bakeshop is not a 100% gluten-free facility, the staff tell me they take precautions to keep things separate, which is also noted on the website.

Tori’s also has a good selection of juice, tea, and espresso-based beverages made from freshly roasted beans by the Merchants of Green Coffee. For those lattes and Americanos, there’s soy, almond and coconut milk to choose from, as well as a modest amount of comfortable seating and free WiFi.

If you look hard enough, you’ll also find a couple of grey easy chairs at the back of the bar, along with a copy of VegNews.

Unlike me, my doughnut-loving husband didn’t have a hard time deciding what to buy. He went with one of the baked, chocolate-dipped doughnuts with coconut garnish. I had to snatch it from his mouth to take a photo before it disappeared. I guess it was that good.

I chose the last of the wheat-free morning glory muffins, which was made with spelt and chock-full of zucchini, carrots, dates and walnuts. It was dense and filling, with a nice balace of comforting spices. I shared a bottle of organic orange juice with hubby to help clench my thirst and rehydrate.

If you visit the Beaches this summer, a stop at this bakeshop should be on your agenda. Be sure to say hello, as I will likely become a regular customer.



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