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Baked Goods

Bunner's Bake Shop

Posted by Dayna Winter / Posted on January 29, 2011

Bunners Bake ShopBunner's Bake Shop became a dedicated storefront in late 2010 after its home-baked treats gained overwhelming response at local farmers markets. Owners and boyfriend/girlfriend duo Ashley Wittig and Kevin MacAllister began selling their vegan treats in the Distillery District during summer months. While they aren't gluten intolerant themselves, they saw a definite interest in their select gluten-free products. "People just went bonkers for them," Wittig tells me.

Bunners Bake ShopMy history of gluten-free baking is a series of dark tales with unhappy endings. I'm not intolerant (officially) but I sometimes engage in post-body-image-meltdown cleanses involving cutting out everything delicious. Every rice-flour cookie or wheat-free muffin I have ever attempted, however, has emerged from the oven with a consistency more like a hockey puck than a baked good.

There's really an art to finding just the right blend of flours and a balanced wet/dry ratio. Wittig's treats contain a varying blend of up to seven different flours, including chick pea for its fluffy results. "I use a lot of apple sauce, too," she adds. I could learn a thing or two from this clever girl. Or I can just leave the tricky baking to the experts.

While I can still digest gluten with some ease, I'd be a regular at Bunner's if the trip didn't involve a 40-minute TTC ride including transfers. In fact, Wittig guesses that approximately 90% of her customers are not shopping for allergy reasons. "The neighbourhood is very supportive," she says of her Junction spot. And people come for the yum-factor - it's about what's in the baking, not what's left out. I needn't suffer withdrawal from the delicious supersonic gypsy cookies, though, just because I'm not in the 'hood. The bake shop delivers cookies and cupcakes across the city for a flat rate.

Bunners Bake ShopI would be a tease if I mentioned the gypsy cookies - the bakery's bestseller - without giving them some well-deserved word-count of their own. They're the all-dressed chip or everything-bagel of the cookie world. While the generous chewy mounds are marketed as cookies, though, I'd argue that they could easily run with the breakfast crowd. Oats, dried cranberries, chocolate and sunflower seeds are packed into one powerhouse of a treat. Also on the menu are cakes, creamies (cookie and "cream" sandwiches), cupcakes, mini donuts and savoury stuffed pastries.

With more wholesale on the agenda for 2011, Bunner's might shortly be available at cafes a little closer to home. And Wittig already has sights on a second downtown location. While the baked goods may be worth a two-bus trek, I'm looking forward to a short (calorie-burning) walk.
Bunners Bake ShopBunners Bake Shop

Discussion

49 Comments

renemagritte / January 12, 2011 at 01:01 pm
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Bunner's is the BEST!! I am in love with their goodies.
Courtney / January 12, 2011 at 01:07 pm
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I can't wait to go try this place. Great excuse for a trip to the Junction, get some baked goods and go for a wander.
Prince / January 12, 2011 at 02:18 pm
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yay Bunners!

Congratulations on the top spot ;)
Danielle / January 12, 2011 at 04:40 pm
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The chocolate cake cupcake is SOOO GOOD
Veronica Majewski / January 12, 2011 at 06:33 pm
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I got the red velvet cupcakes for a friend's birthday and they were excellent! Better than any gluten-free cupcake I had that wasn't even vegan. And the baker was incredibly nice. All around great experience.
Christine / January 12, 2011 at 07:01 pm
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chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing... incredible! and i'm not a vegan!!
Alex / January 13, 2011 at 11:37 pm
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ARE YOU KIDDING? This place is gross. They use chickpea flour which is one of the strongest tasting gluten-free flours available. It is disgusting!!!
irina / January 15, 2011 at 02:31 am
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these cookies remind me of the giant oreos at Butter in vancouver.... looks good. sad to hear it's vegan though... they have no taste buds and always make disappointing baked goods. alex's mention of them using "chickpea flour" confirms my suspicions.
Jen / January 21, 2011 at 02:00 pm
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@ Alex and Irina - maybe you should try the product before making your nasty comments - Bunner's is amazing and you obviously need to check your facts. Go there - support the V and GF community!! best ever!!
'Ol Pokey replying to a comment from Alex / January 21, 2011 at 02:06 pm
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Bunner's is #1 for a reason... Simply Delicious!! and great service. the Junction is getting better every day. and while you're there, check out Rawlicious - great atmosphere and food.
J-Dana / January 24, 2011 at 11:44 am
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BEST, best, best cookie I have EVER had in my life. I don't adhere to the gluten-free lifestyle, I could care less...I just wanted to try their pastries because I loves me some sugar and this place does not disappoint. Very tasty stuff.
Jen / January 31, 2011 at 10:02 am
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This place is amazing! I haven't had a chance to visit the store but have had some of their treats. As a vegan who is gluten-free, this place is just unbelievable to me!
JoeParez / January 31, 2011 at 10:44 am
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As a carnivore and traditionalist when it comes to food and baking, I must say that my one and only experience with a vegan baker was a great one; I'm also very open minded (quite contradictory, I know). Since then, I've always had a curiosity about Vegan baking, and I will be sure to check this place out once I get off my ass and start to explore this new Junction Village.

Though vegan cuisine hasn't made my taste buds or stomach happy, yet. :P
Sam / January 31, 2011 at 10:50 am
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Supersonic gypsies are great--I take one in my bag, in case I need a quick meal, better than a clif bar. They also make an excellent curry pocket that's basically a Rolls Royce version of the Jamaican patty.
Rachel / January 31, 2011 at 01:37 pm
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I was at Bunner's recently and thought I just unearthed the greatest secret in Toronto. This place is amazing!
Lolla / January 31, 2011 at 02:27 pm
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I love almost everything Bunners have to offer. I firts met them at the Bazaar of the Bizarre craft show and could not resist the amazing looking cokies, I could not even tell that the cookies are vegan, so delicious.
amanda / January 31, 2011 at 02:30 pm
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i am really excited to try this place! finally, a dairy-free baked treat place (kind of) in my neighb :)
kat / January 31, 2011 at 02:36 pm
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I am neither GF or vegan but damned if this isn't one of the best bakeries in the city!
Danielle / January 31, 2011 at 04:38 pm
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Reiterating, the CREAMIES ARE INSANE. http://www.bunners.ca/shop/shop/gluten-free-cookies/chocolate-chip-creamies.html
Andrea / January 31, 2011 at 05:16 pm
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I met the owners at City of Craft this year and was blown away by their yummy goodies!
I bake gluten free for myself (gluten intolerant) and my mother who is a full blow celica. I am often in the Junction and have been by the bakery a few times and they are always friendly and very helpful.

Just to comment on an above message. Chick pea flour in my opinion is one of the best GF flours I have used. It makes great bread that bakes up fluffy and toasts wonderfully. The trick with GF baking that this shop has down pat is the need to combine lots of things to replace the gluten.

Try Bunners out you will love it for sure!
Capucine / January 31, 2011 at 07:14 pm
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This shop is outstanding. I've fallen in love with their products and with good reason. I have celiac and am always searching for edible gluten free food. Bunners has surpassed every expectation. The bread is incredible, it tastes likes proper real bread! My non-gf boyfriend loves it as well. The cupcakes, cookies, doughnuts etc are brilliant and the patty type things (pizza pockets and chickpea curry) are INCREDIBLE. Like, detour out of your way to get one incredible.

Thank you a million times for opening this shop, I'm forever grateful and will always be a devoted patron.
fred replying to a comment from Alex / January 31, 2011 at 11:37 pm
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?? besan is not disgusting, it's just DIFFERENT than wheat flour. Very strange comment. try getting out in the world a bit more and taste pastry from other cultures, perhaps?
JHo / February 1, 2011 at 02:10 pm
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@ Alex and Irina - tasting is really believing - i msyelf wasn't into the chickpea flour thing...and then Bunner's came along - I've been gluten-free for a looooong time and only tasted something this good in my dreams - three cheers for Bunner's!
Kevin MacAllister replying to a comment from Lolla / February 2, 2011 at 09:38 am
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Hi Lolla, Kevin here from Bunner's... we're planning to be at the next bazaar of the bizarre so hope to see you there :)
Karen / February 2, 2011 at 10:17 am
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Nasty Alex take note:
Chickpeas are a great source of zinc, folate and protein. They are also very high in dietary fiber and provide a healthy source of carbs for persons with insulin sensitivity or diabetes. And 0 gluten. Ashley's committment and hard work to combining flours including Besan is nothing short of genius. This bakery is also a God send to a lot of parents with sick kids who cannot even eat their own birthday cake. Now they can!! Bunner's is the Bomb!
Jen / February 3, 2011 at 10:44 am
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I ordered cupcakes for my daughter's 1st B-day. I am gluten-intolerant and try to keep gluten to a minimum for my daughter too. The cupcakes were delish and were a hit with the non GF and non-vegan crowd too. Have not tried their bread, but have been on the search for good bread for years now. Will mosey on up and give it a try....if there is any left! Seems there are lots of devotees already!
Ali / February 3, 2011 at 03:40 pm
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I am a huge fan of the Supersonic Gypsy! Bunner's rocks.
Courtney / February 8, 2011 at 12:08 pm
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I went here for the first time last week and loved it. Vegan haters, whatever, you can go elsewhere, I'm sure this place will do just fine without you. the Creamies are killer!!! I'm happy to hear that they are doing well enough to consider a second location. Yeah, the junction is a little out of the way for me, but this is a good reason to go up there and walk around. I always seem to forget how much I like it up there.
hayley / February 9, 2011 at 09:18 pm
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I got a chocolate chip banana muffin today, along with some gypsy cookies and they were all SO good!! definitely going back!
junctiongal / March 26, 2011 at 11:13 am
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i LOVE this place! after having been diagnosed with a number of food allergies including gluten and egg, my biggest fear was missing out on delicious baked goodies. i may not have tried Bunner's if it weren't for that diagnosis, and now i realize how silly that is! people don't need to be gluten free or vegan to eat here! the truth is, for those who are not 'forced gluten free' like myself, most people still benefit from cutting a little gluten from their diets. gluten free baking is complicated, involving many flours (don't get stuck on chick pea flour, there are many flours at work here!) and Bunner's has found a perfect balance. if you are staying away from this place because you are not gluten free or vegan, stop! this is a delicious bakery by any standard.
Frank Nieckard / April 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm
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Hello:
I am looking to have something made up - then i will take it and pitch on the Dragons Den. Is there someone you may recomend me too? Frank
Parker / September 12, 2011 at 11:03 am
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I finally got a chance to try Bunner's goodies at the Vegetarian Food Fest this past weekend. The Gypsy cookie is really good. The fabled creamies, however, are **way too sweet**, IMHO.
Parker / September 14, 2011 at 04:37 pm
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Bunner's was at the Veggie Food Fest last weekened, so I finally got to find out what all the fuss was about. The Gypsy cookie is really good. But I found the creamies were way too sweet.
Kayla / November 3, 2011 at 06:58 pm
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BEST PLACE ON EARTH!!!
I LOVE Bunner's!!!
Their goodies are unlike anything I have ever had as a vegan, I am so thankful for their bakery. The owners (Ashley & Kevin) are the nicest people I have ever met, and their staff.. let's just say AMAZING!! :)
Abe / March 26, 2012 at 05:25 pm
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Everything about this place makes me so happy that I moved in just down the street. This neighbourhood is amazing and will continue to be if people like this keep opening up shop and catering to the people with such great products and perfect service. Great job, guys! Also, check out Buddha Pie down on Annette for some of the best V-GF pizza in the city...also amazing folks!
Tess / July 14, 2012 at 08:21 pm
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Fantastic cinnamon rolls. also tried the cupcakes and date bars. All amazing!
Oh_W / August 14, 2012 at 06:12 pm
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Unfriendly staff. I went in to ask the price of their bread and the woman gave me the stinkeye. We aren't all 23 y.o. hipsters Dear. Some of us work within a budget. Being a glutton for punishment I went in another time to give the place another shot. I had one of the cookies shown in the picture above. It was like eating gravel. I have had better product and service from Sweets of the Earth.
pbw / September 10, 2012 at 03:04 pm
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The small muffin cost $3.68 with tax. Was ok -- but too pricey for me.
Kat / October 7, 2012 at 10:59 am
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I had two of their whoopie pies - Creamies I think they call them?
Hands down, the worst baked goods I have ever paid for. Also almost $8.
Dry, poor taste, and WAY too sweet. Made my teeth hurt.
Someone please open a real bakery in the Junction. Dairy all the way.
product never there / October 21, 2012 at 04:33 pm
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Everytime I go there they are sold out of the creamie. I mean I gave up b/c they don't care to keep the stock up during the day. I must have given them 15 visits by now and alway let down. It seems they bake, and don't refresh for the day.Once its gone they must not make a new batch.

I have given up on this place and fyi
Yes too much $
Yes to sweet at times.
Natalie / October 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm
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Went there yesterday with a friend because of all the reviews. Did not realize they were strictly a bakery and not a cafe, but that's ok.

When we got there, there was barely anything on display. There were the gypsy cookies, one type of pocket (chickpea curry), about 3 cupcakes and some tarts. The little they had was positioned in a way that made it look like there was nothing there. They should really invest in keeping fuller stock, it did not inspire me to come back. Oh, there were a few cinnamon buns too but they did not look appetizing. They were huge, blocky, and smothered in a thick layer of icing.

My friend got the chickpea pocket. The pastry wasn't bad. Flaky, though a bit too dark for my taste. The filling was alright, not outstanding in any way.

The girl at the counter was busy with very talkative customers who were buying up all the gypsy cookies and only acknowledged us when the other customers took their boxes and left. If we have to wait for almost 10 min. to get something out of a very very limited selection, and if you know that the customer is going to take up a lot of your time, it is usually a good idea to smile and greet the other customers and acknowledge them in some way. A simple "hey how are you, I will be with you in a minute!" would've made our experience a lot better.

The cookies were good but I really don't think they're worth the trip to High Park and Dundas West. It's out of the way for most people, not easily TTC accessible and they barely have anything in stock. Glad I tried it so I know what to expect but overall it was disappointing.
Visiting Vegan / December 25, 2012 at 10:08 pm
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I've tried a number of Bunner's offerings, and while the texture is great, I find that all of their baked goods (cupcakes, cookies, creamies, donuts, etc.) leave this strange aftertaste. Is it baking soda? Too much baking powder? Is it this chickpea flour that folks on this comment string keep mentioning?

I've had the baked goods at pretty much every g/d-free bakery in Toronto, and I've eaten cupcakes, cookies and donuts at many specialty shops in NYC, and Bunner's seems to be the only place where the baked goods taste like some sort of strange chemical.

I don't mind traveling out of my way to the Junction; I don't mind paying a little more for g/d-free baked goods. However, I think Bunner's needs to step it up a little and find a way to produce goods that don't taste like...what the heck is that strange chemical-ly flavour??
WB / January 27, 2013 at 12:51 pm
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Recently discovered that gluten was the cause of stomach issues and lack of energy. I found the staff to be really nice and friendly. I wonder if people who get bad service ever think about what they're projecting when they meet someone the first time? Don't understand complaints about their selection and how they were out of things. That's because people bought them. The stuff sells out because its good, so go earlier.

I bought two cinnamon rolls and my friend and I split one 'cause they were filling and satisfying. More important, they didn't taste 'healthy' and didn't skimp on the icing.

Also bought a loaf of the regular bread and at first was shocked by the price, but after eating it I think it's worth every penny and plan on making weekly trips for it. Tasted great and was easy to slice, not disintegrating into a mess like some homemade breads I've had. When the alternative is buying a gluten-free supermarket product that resembles the toy food that my nieces play with, I'm glad I now know that Bunners exists. Thanks BlogTO for these lists.
Isabelle / August 13, 2013 at 10:18 am
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Thank you Bunner :)

Being newly diagnosed I am still struggling with the food intake restriction. Your bakery has allowed me to feel spoiled and enjoy previous loved good.
Your Velvet cupcake is better then the gluten one I have tried before and the Sonic Cookies are something I can eat on the go.

Sadly those cookies and the cupcakes I bought were sooooo good I had to struggle with my husband and kids because I didn't want to share with them. :)
Scarboro / September 10, 2013 at 04:57 pm
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EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW THAT A "BUNNER" is someone that smokes weed hahahahaha, especially in jamaican/toronto slang. this is the funniest name for a cafe, I laugh every time i walk by
Susan Cacciottolo / November 22, 2013 at 02:47 pm
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I have just recently found out my daughter-in-law has Crohns and would like to know where you located I live in Bloor West Village!
D Hip / December 23, 2013 at 10:36 am
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Good product but terrible customer service. My family member recently ordered a birthday cake but had to cancel due to the ice storm. When he tried to negotiate a partial refund and another cake, he was told "No, that's not our policy." He was told to try to pick up the cake since the staff were able to walk to work in the storm. Very unexperienced and young business owner who may know how to bake but not how to retain customers. I've read similar comments on other blogs about the customer dissatisfaction. Too bad!
noreen / April 12, 2014 at 12:28 am
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I am in love with the goodies they sell here!!! I have tasted almost all of the sweet items. Haven't tried the savory ones yet.....Everything I tried is amazing. The only downfall is the parking. I must have circled the area for 45 mins and just as I was getting frustrated and thought I should just give up I found a parking spot. My nerves were shot but I still enjoyed my gluten free dessert!
Holy Thundering Jesus / April 14, 2014 at 06:58 pm
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great product, shitty service.

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