Follow our latest adventures at Cake+Loaf
Welcome to the latest construction update on the bakery!
It's starting to come together (albeit later than expected, but better late than never!) and we're all really excited for the opening. Until then, indulge your bellies in some Cake & Loaf goods at the Ancaster Farmers' Market on Wednesdays or the Ottawa St. Farmers' Market Saturdays, and feast your eyes on the wonderful greens and blues on the walls of the bakery!
Last week, Josie invited the interns over to meet with Cake & Loaf's tea supplier, Raelene Gannon, of tea and all its splendour. With her extensive collection of loose leaf teas, Cake & Loaf began the daunting process of choosing just a few to start out with at the bakery. It was important to Josie and Nickey to have teas to suit all tastes- a simple black, a green, a distinctive herbal tisane, a rooibos, and a white.
Raelene brought more teas than any of us could imagine, and took us through the basics of understanding what tea is and how it becomes what we love to start our mornings (and end our days) with.
Something fundamental to our understanding of tea was a fact that few of us were aware of; all "proper" tea comes from an evergreen bush known as Camellia Sinensis. More surprising yet, herbal teas are not actually "teas" at all. Herbal teas, more correctly referred to as "tisanes", are composed of dried fruits or flowers, herbs, spices, seeds, roots, or barks and do not contain any part of Camellia Sinensis in their blend. (For more information, check out Raelene's All About Tea page or her tea dictionary.)
After our history lesson, we got a chance to smell the teas. It was fascinating to smell all the different types, and to be able to notice the difference between similar teas, such as distinguishing one Chai from another. We smelled Pumpkin Creme Rooibos, Bora Bora, Sangria Wine, Butternut Spice, Organic Blueberry, and many, many more. Needless to say, our mouths were watering from all the wonderful, exotic smells. Visually these teas impressed as well; we were stunned by the bright colours of teas like Candied Pomegranate and the golden tips in Gannon Irish Breakfast.
The next day I brewed a cup of the Irish Breakfast and it did not disappoint. The notes of caramel gave me a welcomed sweetness, and almost a maple taste that allowed me to forgo my usual two sugars (yeah, I like my drinks sweet!). Raelene also pointed out that certain teas and tisanes need to be brewed at different temperatures and steeped for varying times. Over-steeping a tea can actually create a bitter taste, and using water that is too hot can burn the leaves.
Now that I've become a tea connoisseur (of sorts), I'm even more excited to try all the teas that will be coming to the bakery. We'll be serving tea you can buy "to go", as well as packaged tea you can purchase. Prepare yourself for a Tast-tea experience!
You can also find Raelene on Twitter - @teasplendour
The Cake & Loaf Interns!
From left to right; Stefani, Julia, Lindsay, Suzanne
Stefani - Marketing Machine (and newest C+L blogger)
Stefani grew up in Mississauga, and after studying music in B.C., came to McMaster to complete her undergraduate degree in Linguistics and Classics. It was after living in downtown Hamilton that she realized her love for its culture, local businesses, and people. Stefani also has a deep love for dogs and rats, though these are best kept out of the bakery!
Despite her "machine" status, Stefani is very excited to sample the treats that will emerge from the Cake & Loaf kitchen and can't wait to work with all these lovely ladies. This is an amazing opportunity to learn and meet people and she is taking every bit of it in. If you hear her humming around the store, listen closely as she may be writing Cake & Loaf's new hit jingle!
Julia - Badass Baker in Training
Julia (McIntosh) has been living in Hamilton for four years, and currently calls the Jamesville neighbourhood home. A country girl from the Stratford area, she came to the city to study Communications and Cultural Studies at McMaster. Julia has grown to really love Hamilton and, having recently graduated, has decided to stay and build community in this wonderful place!
Julia loves to bake and cook, and scope out delicious local foods as much as possible. She is very excited to be learning more about baking techniques with the experienced guidance of Josie and Nickey, and helping Cake + Loaf to blossom and grow. Julia also enjoys biking around the city and local trails, gardening, hiking, yoga, and road trips.
Lindsay - Part Food-loving Enthusiast, Part Marketing Machine
After spending time in St. Catharines and Toronto for school and work, I've found that my true passion lies in Hamilton and it's small business community. I love meeting new people and feeling like a part of the amazing downtown community. I hope one day to be a proud business owner myself.
I love to meet new people, so if you see me around please come and say hello! In my spare time I love reading, testing out my cooking skills on my boyfriend, walking my dog, sandwiches, tweeting and margaritas.In the mean time I divide my time between White Elephant Vintage, Slainte Irish Pub and Cake+Loaf.
Suzanne - Local Food-loving Enthusiast
With a passion for all things delicious, I am thrilled to be joining the Cake+Loaf crew for a most exciting summer! An enthusiastic amateur baker and gardener with a love of learning, sweet peas and raspberries, I look forward to broadening my horizons and sharing the bountiful harvest of the Cake+Loaf gardens!
A native Hamiltonian, I share my own little backyard garden with my amazing husband, five beautiful children and two sweet feline friends. Hope to see you at the Market!
(Stay tuned for more about each intern and what they're doing at the bakery!)
Once upon a time, Josie Rudderham had a garden. And during that time, she decided to open a bakery with her friend Nickey Sherman. This, understandably, took up tremendous amounts of time, and with the busy-ness of life came the weeds in the garden. We interns decided to help out, as it would benefit not only Josie and Nickey, but the bakery, and those who get to enjoy the baked goods (you, me, the person next to you, your next-door neighbour, etc.)!
Below is one of several Cake & Loaf gardens, featuring the lovely weeding handiwork of Suzanne and Julia:
Suzanne working hard!
What beautiful greens!
Julia weeding away!
A sneak peek at some of the delicious crops!
It may seem like we've been working on this bakery FOREVER (believe me it does to us!) but real progress is being made and those of you that live in the area know they are several fine men there working their butts off everyday. We've almost completely converted the landscaping to edible plants, the new footings and beam have been installed, framing is complete, all new electrical and plumbing has been installed as well as 2 new HVAC systems. Our walk-in fridge is installed and the equipment is slowly starting to arrive. Looks like we might be open the first week of July but we are done making promises on the date. We've learned not to tempt fate.