Since 2006, Mt. Baker Candy Co.'s chocolatiers have used a secret 50-year-old recipe as the blueprint for more than 40 flavors of fudge, all handmade in small batches. Now, through SendFudge.com, their gourmet confections can reach chocolate lovers in 48 states, including the ones where chocolate is illegal. Made with milk and soy, the rich, gluten-free fudges range from classics such as butter pecan and rocky road to lemon-meringue cheesecake fudge and caramel-infused fudge topped with sea salt. The dessert wizards also whip up 12 diabetic-friendly flavors of sucrose-free fudge, including mint-chocolate swirl and peanut butter.
Mad Batter Cupcakes and Confections' seasoned bakers whip up tasty, hand-held desserts every bit as colorful as they are delicious. Guests celebrate birthdays, weddings, or just the end of dinner with creamy, sweet cupcakes in flavors such as pumpkin spice, chocolate raspberry, and salted caramel, with plenty of gluten-free options available.
At Hillcrest Bakery & Deli, longtime head baker, David Moyer, and his staff handcraft meaty deli sandwiches on housemade bread, along with tiered wedding cakes, individual pizzas, and fresh vegetarian fare. The bakery makes all its confections from scratch—meaning patrons can customize cakes with a special design or an aesthetically pleasing squiggle. Diners who swing by for a midday soup-and-sandwich special can also treat their four-legged friends, as the bakery keeps a supply of snacks for dogs.
There are two ways to watch Heather White and 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.
Today, 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 thrown in honour of winning a national cupcake-eating contest.
A bakery outlet for Canada Bread Company Limited, McGavin's offers rows of loaves at wholesale prices. Fill bare cupboards or secret floorboard compartments with discount bread facing a dwindling shelf life, surplus bread from overzealous production lines, and fresh bread from local bakeries. McGavin's white or 100 per cent whole-wheat loaves (five loaves for $10.49) prove eminently slatherable. Other yeasty feasts include Dempster's Bagel six packs (three packs for $8.99), english muffin six packs (three packages for $6.99), and tortillas (three packages for $8.25). The popular discount special section, meanwhile, invites gluten gourmands to mix and match an ever-changing cast of short-dated dough bookends: every product, regardless of size, grain, or resemblance to Winston Churchill costs $1.39, and shoppers can mix and match an assortment of ten loaves for $12. Discount selections change daily and vary by location.
Cold Stone’s ice cream, made in-store daily, inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. Ice-cream voyeurs can create their own ice-creamplosion from old favourites or unheard of delights ($2.89–$4.59 with two mix-ins), eliciting taste tests of dozens of silky flavours such as cake batter, cotton candy, and piñata. Each ice-cream creation generously welcomes up to two of the shop's dozens of mix-ins as traditional as Oreo cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as pie crust. Those willing to bequeath the invention of creamy concoctions to the professionals can try a Cold Stone Signature creation, such as the almond-studded and caramel-slathered Coffee Lovers Only or the Peanut Butter Cup Perfection with Reese's peanut-butter cups, fudge, and a side of endorphins ($3.99–$5.75). Once concoctions are chosen and perfected, they're scooped cold into freshly made waffle cones or bowls.