Tamaringo’s Cafe sates the yelps of abdominal elves with a bevy of toothsome baked goods, lunch fare, and drinks, along with gluten-free eats. Spelunk through the lasagna and garlic bread ($5.99) to unearth rich cheese treasures, or employ a fearless fork to deliver mouthfuls of quiche ($5.75) to expectant mouths. Dessert squares ($2.49) sized perfectly for storage in recently installed cheek-pockets make tongue buds lapse into sugar-laced swoons, and the gelato ($3.50–$4.50) treats teeth to a decadent sweet and creamy taste duet. Meanwhile, the seasonal cakes ($4.95) keep chatty mandibles occupied and unable to gossip about how the uvula does nothing but “hang there like a second-rate stalactite.”
There are two ways to watch Heather White & Lori Joyce bake their preservative-free cupcakes from scratch. Guests can pop into one of their bakeries on the days the duo is in the shop or they can watch from the family room as the ladies craft desserts from basic ingredients on their TV show The Cupcake Girls.
It took time to build up the Cupcakes empire. What started as a teenage dream for the two friends seemed remote after they went their separate ways, one pursuing a degree in animal biology, the other working in the fashion industry. When the two reconnected later in New York City by a simple twist of fate, they realized they still pined for the possibility of owning a company together. They drew up the plans, packed their bags, charted a course back to Vancouver in a cupcake-shaped hot air balloon, and started their first store.
Inside their retro-style locations, bakers craft cupcakes made with real butter or design specialty cakes for all manner of noteworthy occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, and parties. Today, their shops attract tens of thousands of fans across British Columbia and Ontario, thanks to the ready supply of rich, freshly baked cakes and desserts.