A native of Lyon, France, the eponymous chef and proprietor of Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate crafts her sweets from scratch daily using traditional Gallic techniques. As she works, the shop's pristine white countertops populate with flaky croissants, artisanal chocolate truffles, and delicate macaroons in flavours such as pistachio, earl grey, and passion fruit. Colourful boxes or cellophane wrappers prepare dainty treats for gifting, and savoury options including quiche and pâté sate lunchtime appetites. In addition, cooking classes summon patrons into Chef Sandrine's kitchen to learn such culinary skills as how to summon the fire-breathing dragon that caramelizes the top of every crème brûlée.
Before opening The Bread Company, brothers Mike and Dan Bronswyk honed their pastry- and bread-making skills as apprentices in European bakeries. To get to the root of their passion for baking, though, you have to go back a few hundred years. The Bronswyk family have been bakers for five generations, a line that stretches back to a bakery in the Netherlands in the 1730s.
Today, the brothers put the same care into the craft as their meticulous ancestors. They use filtered water and 100 per cent vegetable or olive oil to create The Bread Company’s lineup of artisanal breads, following some recipes that incorporate organic flours. Before baking on the hearth, the dough is allowed to age for 16–24 hours to develop flavour, texture, and the personal integrity needed to hold a sandwich together through adversity. The brothers also carefully craft pastries, cakes, and gourmet sandwiches, all of which can be served with fair-trade Cherry Hill Coffee organic coffees.
Marble Slab Creamery's story is international in its scope. In 1983, the first Marble Slab Creamery opened in Houston, Texas, serving their signature gourmet ice cream developed by two French chefs. Twenty years later, their expansion spread across the border to Alberta, thanks to their more than 50 flavours of ice cream, which are handmade daily in each store. The flavours range the traditional—such as peppermint, chocolate swiss, or strawberry—to the unexpected, such as cheesecake, birthday cake, and bubble gum. They stock lactose-free ice cream and low-fat yogurt—which proudly flaunts a size-0 ice-cream cup—and the goodies can be further modified with a plethora of mixins of the candy and fruit varieties. In addition to their singular cups and cones, ice-cream cakes and pints await full-on feasting frenzies.