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.
Mama Mia Place's owner recalls childhood days spent at his grandfather's farm, standing beside the warmth of the clay oven as he watches his grandmother bake fresh bread and empanadas. A point of family pride, empanada recipes are passed down from generation to generation and are crafted through time and expertise; Mama Mia's empanada recipe is no exception. Inside his own restaurant, chefs knead and bake fresh dough inside an open-view kitchen, crafting traditional cinnamon-dusted churros or pastries filled with dulce de leche, homemade cream caramel, which are made following family recipes handed down for three generations. Freshly baked wares travel to the gleaming glass bakery cases under the front counter for display and safekeeping in a warm, cozy environment.
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-yogurt shop where they discovered a mutual passion for frozen yogurt (and each other). In 2007, the now husband-and-wife duo created Menchie’s.
Today, the frozen-yogurt 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 yogurt flavours and toppings, which customers can mix into a yogurt cup or waffle bowl. The yogurt is made with fresh milk from Canadian dairy cows; many flavours are nonfat, no sugar added, even vegan.
Yogurty's, a proudly Canadian company, claims that at their stores, no two customers have ever made the same exact treat twice. It would be nearly impossible—low- or no-fat, probiotic-rich frozen yogurt comes in more than 85 flavours, ranging from carmel latte to banana split to red velvet, and 65 toppings allow patrons to swirl, drizzle, and sprinkle tasty treats until they resemble works of icy art. Their gluten-free yogurt, a natural source of protein, calcium, and probiotics, is made from fresh milk right off of Canadian farms and supports healthy digestive systems and immunity. The cheerful stores showcase bright colors—nearly as bright as bubblegum and orange cream, topped with sour gummi worms, and rainbow sprinkles.
If it weren't for the artistry of the cakes and pastries at Ruelo Patisserie, you'd think the bakery was ruled by the scientific method. That's because detailed cake specs carefully delineate the composition of 19 of the bakery's tasty creations. For instance, taking a look at the illustrated chart, the five-layer hazelnut cake starts with a base of hazelnut dacquoise. Next, the bakers layer crispy praline on top, followed by strata of hazelnut and milk-chocolate mousse topped with a final layer of cocoa powder. Customers can order these cakes in multiple sizes, feeding intimate gatherings and bigger parties filled with hungrier, more demanding guests.
The patisserie also offers customized creations—brides- and grooms-to-be need only think up the wedding cake of their dreams, and the bakers will make it a reality with elegant tiers of fondant and flowers. They also prepare macarons in familiar flavors such as raspberry and vanilla, as well as more exotic flavors such as yuzu (Japanese lime) and balsamic vinegar. Customers can stop in to sample the baked goods or enjoy a full afternoon tea. And for the cake-curious, Ruelo offers cake-making and decorating classes that pass along some of the bakers' wisdom.
The Hair Wave Salon and Spa team confidently professes, “No job is too big or small,” noting that it provides the same meticulous attention to each trim, facial, and waxing treatment. The modern vibe of turquoise chairs contrasts the classical aesthetic of wood-accented styling stations, where stylists perform professional haircare services such as conditioning treatments, perms, and relaxers. The staff also renders waxing and threading services to eliminate unwanted strands and leave eyebrows with precise lines, unlike actors who improvise their dialogue according to their real-life mood. The staff can top off spa days with facial treatments that thoroughly clean pores and nourish skin cells, all the while maintaining the fun demeanour, making each staffer’s personality a compelling part of visits to Hair Wave Salon and Spa.