After exploring her creative side by learning to decorate cakes for her parents' vow renewal, Patricia Drewnowska left a lucrative career in banking to pursue her passion for pastries. Drewnowska honed her craft under the tutelage of Food Network chefs and the finest cake-wizard schools in North America, eventually founding a custom-cake bakery that has earned praise from "Wedding Bells," "ET Canada," and the Globe and Mail. In the kitchen, Patricia and her brother, Konrad––a classically trained french-pastry chef––will into existence elegant multi-tier wedding cakes, colorful desserts for kids' birthdays and baby showers, and rich, homemade macaroons and cookies. Visitors to the cafe swoon over the scent of freshly made pastries, before devouring cupcakes in flavours such as madagascar vanilla, red velvet, and black currant, each iced with layers of chocolate ganache or buttercream.
Baskin Robbins' worldwide expansion can be attributed to one thing: gourmet ice cream. More than 31 flavours fill its freezers, with classic flavours such as chocolate chip or butter pecan, and rotating seasonal flavours such as the cherry-filled black forest cake or green tea. Not content to just serve scoops, Baskin Robbins molds their ice cream into cakes, milk shakes, and sundaes made scrumptious by pieces of fresh fruit. Baskin's staff also swirls up soft serve cones, bowls, and parfaits filled with fruits and sweets. The ice creameries also indulge weight-conscious eaters with a menu of no-sugar-added sherbets, light yogurts, and sorbets.
At Britannia Italian Bakery, the kitchen staff rewards bellies with fresh meals from the hot bar, homemade confections, and imported Italian delicacies. Dinner and lunch combos ($7.99+) spotlight freshly cooked veal, pasta, and lasagna, which customers can devour at the deli or savour in the privacy of their own underground superhero lairs. Italian cookies, pies, and cakes ($1.50+) swan-dive into mugs of coffee and cappuccino ($1.50+), and imported deli meats and cheeses flank freshly baked breads.
Some first dates are so magical they’ll change your life, and this was the case for Danna and Adam Caldwell. The lovebirds had their first date at a frozen-yogourt shop where they discovered a mutual passion for frozen yogourt (and each other). In 2007, the now husband-and-wife duo created Menchie’s.
Today, the frozen-yogourt franchise has grown to more than 250 locations around the world, and was ranked the fastest-growing chain in 2010. Each one, adorned with pictures of celebrities enjoying Menchie's treats on their walls, offers an assortment of self-serve yogourt flavours and toppings, which customers can mix into a yogourt cup or waffle bowl. The yogourt is made with fresh milk from Canadian dairy cows; many flavours are nonfat, no sugar added, and even vegan.
Botanical Skincare keeps its treatment offerings nice and simple. Estheticians take a hands-on approach when exfoliating with microdermabrasion, cleansing with facials, and enhancing features with makeup. They also use electrolysis to remove clients’ unwanted body hair and serve as a warning to any follicles thinking about acting out in the future.
Seated at round, white-topped café tables, customers alternate sips of premium espresso with bites of crunchy, freshly baked macaroons. A popular specialty, the macaroons exemplify the level of craftsmanship that goes into each pastry sold at Bo&Bon, a bakery conceived as a bridge between a neighbourhood coffee shop and a gourmet pastry kitchen.
Bo&Bon’s streamlined interior evokes an upscale, European-style elegance that reappears in the bakers’ presentation of their various cakes, meringues, and other treats. Helmed by a professional pastry chef, the bakery’s skilled confectioners painstakingly craft treats that range from custom wedding cakes to small chocolates. Their commitment to all-natural, kosher pareve, and lactose-free ingredients extends to all corners of their menu, and they uniformly eschew artificial colourings and decorative machine bolts.