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Baked Goods

Le Dolci

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on July 31, 2012

le dolci torontoLe Dolci has settled into its new Dundas West digs, transforming the former Grateful Head home into its own "fun, foodie studio."

Previously occupying a space down at King and Portland, the bakeshop/teaching studio found itself with too little room after about a year in Toronto (the best dilemma to have as a business, of course) so owner Lisa Sanguedolce began looking elsewhere.

le dolci torontoFinally settling at the corner of Dundas and Montrose, a month of renovations means the space bears little resemblance to its past as a rock-inspired hair salon. The west end of the shop is now the retail section, offering freshly baked chocolate and vanilla cupcakes ($2.50), Augie's ice pops, Tealish tea, Detour coffee, and other Le Dolci sweet treats. The adjacent space (separated by a sliding barn door) is where the baking and instruction magic happens, with a bright open kitchen area and a long metal table with about a dozen seats.

le dolci torontoLisa is off in Paris (guiding Le Dolci's first international Foodie Trip to Europe), but her longtime friend Nicole Lippa-Gasparro offers to show me around the new shop.

"In our old space, our classes were capped at about eight or 10," she says. "Here, we can seat 12, and sometimes even more depending on the program."

le dolci torontoLe Dolci has a long list of courses on its roster, most of which run for two hours and cost $80 per person. The classes include basics such as "Introduction to Cupcake Decorating" (which teaches the tools of fondant and buttercream), to increasingly popular options such as "Marvelous Macarons with Maddy." Le Dolci will also be hosting themed cupcake decorating classes in time for TIFF and other local events.

le dolci torontoNicole tells me that the business actually began unintentionally, with Lisa (who was living in the U.K. at the time) offering to bake a wedding cake as a gift for a friend. Word then spread of Lisa's baking talents (which were self-taught), and rumours eventually flourished into a full-fledged business. Lisa soon made the decision move back to her hometown of Toronto, opting to leave the PR/communications world behind in favour of a Toronto-based Le Dolci.

le dolci torontoThe shop now does everything from private parties to corporate events, kids-only classes and custom orders, but the true test for me is its off-the rack cupcake. I opt for the classic vanilla, baked by Amy that day with all natural ingredients. The cake is soft and moist with that true "home-baked" taste, and the buttercream icing has a superbly smooth consistency and would definitely appeal to those with a ravenous sweet tooth. It's not, perhaps, as visually impressive as the Blue Jay jersey-decorated cupcake, but delicious all the same.

le dolci torontoNicole says Le Dolci is planning on plenty of new events for fall including afternoon teas and wine and sweets pairing nights, with the bake shop open throughout to satiate those cupcake-and-more cravings.

Photos by Morris Lum

Discussion

57 Comments

sweet / August 1, 2012 at 10:45 am
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Nice!!
Id been looking for a cupcake shoppe.
Hard to come by.
Angie / August 1, 2012 at 10:59 am
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I think the lessons are what set this apart - I totally want to sign up for a class!
Babs / August 1, 2012 at 11:41 am
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I went last weekend for the first time. The space is beeeatiful and the cupcake decor is striking. Only thing was: the cupcakes tasted awful! Maybe the point of this space is to have fun decorating cupcakes, but what's the point if they're going to taste bad? We found the base very dry and bland, and the icing was, well, it was just icing. All in all, something I would have expected from a soccer mom bake sale.

All the more surprising when you consider some fantastic dessert spots not too far, like Clafouti, Nedage, and Dlish Cupcakes. Far, far superior.
Taylor / August 1, 2012 at 11:53 am
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Wow, those are absolutely gorgeous!
more / August 1, 2012 at 04:50 pm
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So sick of this side of the industry right now. It has been taken over by sculptures and not by people who are passionate about food. All style no substance!
Horrified / August 2, 2012 at 03:40 am
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I would NEVER take a baking class here, especially for their cupcakes. Went one time after work with a few friends because we thought the place looked cute and were interested in maybe taking a macaron making class, but after tasting that AWEFUL and waaaay over priced cupcake, there is no way in HELL I would pay $80 to learn how to make CRAP from Le Dolci. The icing was hard and surgery and the cupcake itself was dense, dry, way too buttery and completely bland. The cupcake looked as if it had been sitting there for days too. My friends and I all agreed that we could make better cupcakes using Betty Crocker baking mix..

Don't waste your money coming here and if you don't believe me, try one of their over priced cupcakes and face the immense disappointment and disgust yourself.
Catherine / August 2, 2012 at 10:22 am
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Cupcakes were DISGUSTING! They look nice enough but don't be fooled they were the worst cupcakes I've ever tasted.

I agree with Babs, there are amazing baked treats on Queen West that put this place to shame. Dlish Cupcakes and Nedage are two that come to mind.

Don't waste your money you are better off learning how to make better tasting cupcakes watching YouTube.
Marie / August 2, 2012 at 03:40 pm
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Very poor quality products, Dry, no flavour, ingredients did not taste fresh.
Eleni / August 2, 2012 at 06:30 pm
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Wow! I had a complete different experience than the other people! I took my girls to a mommy and me class. We had a great time learning to decorate cupcakes - the possibilities were endless it allowed my girls and I to be creative and the best part...we ATE THE CUPCAKES! They were the most moist and fresh we have ever had!! I would totally go again and it was worth every dime I paid!
Karin / August 2, 2012 at 09:15 pm
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Add my name to the list who thinks this place is a joke to be selling any baked goods. The cupcake I bought was stale. The icing was hard with a weird after-taste due to all the food coloring. The cake part was dry and had no flavor.
West Gal replying to a comment from Eleni / August 2, 2012 at 11:38 pm
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@ Eleni ... "most moist and fresh we ever had" Uh, and you probably think Coffee Time has the freshest, tastest coffee in the city. I'd rather buy cupcakes from Loblaw's than buy them here.
Robbie / August 4, 2012 at 07:12 pm
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This is a cute place to spend time with friends or kids and learn how to decorate cupcakes but I would not advise purchasing them for consumption. Not the best ingredients as they use shortening, oil and loads of food coloring.
Lisa / August 7, 2012 at 01:26 pm
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Dear all,
Thanks for taking the time to write your comments here. I assure you that there is no shortening or oil in our cupcakes and I would like to personally invite each of you you to come and join me for a cup of tea and to sample another cupcake or class.

If you had a bad experience I would like to remedy it and am available to chat on the telephone or email at any time.

I would be delighted to meet and greet with you and show you what Le Dolci is all about.

Kind Regards,
Lisa (Team Le Dolci)
Lauren / August 9, 2012 at 09:05 pm
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@Lisa thank you for the offer but I will pass. I have now tried two cupcakes, two flavors on two different occasions and both were a disappointment. Both were dry, the icing greasy and had a weird chemical after taste. I believe it is all the food coloring. Compared to the competition you are at the bottom with Prairie Girl.
Bella / August 12, 2012 at 08:47 pm
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My two cents: Frosting on my cupcake was grainy, the cake part was dry and crumbled apart. It tasted like it came from a mix. The owner should be embarrassed for giving cupcakes a bad name.
Sarah / August 18, 2012 at 12:21 am
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Friendly service not so good treats and coffee tasted burnt.
Mel / August 23, 2012 at 11:33 pm
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I dropped by here today to inquire about classes, I did not receive a warm greeting at all. I asked a few questions and the person I dealt with seemed rather uninterested in answering my questions or engaging with me in any way. I decided to purchase some cupcakes to try and support a local business. I was beyond disappointed, I chose one vanilla and one chocolate. Both were extremely dry, to the point of sticking to the wrapper. I have to agree with others that said the frosting tasted synthetic with a chemical aftertaste.
mary / September 24, 2012 at 08:04 pm
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I tried this cupcakes and they were worst than discusting. Dry, crusty and had a weird chemical after taste. I won't be returning. Enough with bad cupcake shops already. I wish this place stayed a hair salon.
Alexandria / October 7, 2012 at 05:31 pm
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I don't want to be rude or mean but these cupcakes aren't very good. I was thinking of taking a class there but not after I tried that awfully dry sugary cupcake. I wish bad cupcakes weren't sold at cute looking stores. So incredibly deceiving. :(
jonathan / January 12, 2013 at 04:52 pm
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this place is great, a local favourite of my kids and i. the cupcakes are our favourite sunday afternoon treat. esp. the salted caramel ones and the staff are super nice.
cheryl / February 22, 2013 at 03:31 pm
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The baked goods from this place taste very stale. As well I find the staff pushy. Not a good combination.
Kay / April 8, 2013 at 06:26 pm
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Disappointed at the service and mix up

Purchased a birthday cake yesterday. The person helping my sister clearly did not know what she was doing. She was told the cake was $39 at first and after it was personalized with a birthday note, they told her it's actually $45 for the cake. They didn't bother keeping their word and charged us $45.. worst of all...
We asked for Vanilla.. and after our birthday girl cut into it.. it was CHOCOLATE..needless to say.. no one liked the chocolate and now we're left with 3/4 of a cake noone wants to eat. birthday ruined.
Lucinda / June 9, 2013 at 12:35 am
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Don't buy the baked goods from this place, they are horrible. You can get better quality at Loblaws, I kid you not. I bought cupcakes and a cake both were dry, dense and flavourless. They certainly do not use quality ingredients and don't bake fresh everyday. The service is also lacking. Do yourself a favour save your money and go elsewhere.
sherry / June 22, 2013 at 06:44 pm
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I was planning on taking a few classes here in July but now I am reconsidering. These comments aren't very good.
Gia / June 24, 2013 at 10:13 pm
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Really bad service felt rushed and to top it off the cupcakes were a disaster. Will never go back.
Suzie / August 21, 2013 at 10:31 am
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Le Dolci is being investigated for possible food poisoning at The EX. You can read the story here and see a cronut with their company logo here

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2013/08/21/toronto-canadian-national-exhibition-ill.html
Ruth replying to a comment from Suzie / August 23, 2013 at 12:12 am
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Yes they made the cronut used in the cronut burger, over 100 people got sick many went to the hospital. It's all over the news. I wouldn't buy anything from here they don't look like a legit bakery.
Apple / August 27, 2013 at 12:27 pm
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blogto credibility zero
neilson / August 27, 2013 at 12:50 pm
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Staphylococcus aureus, google it.
John Smith / August 27, 2013 at 01:44 pm
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This company allegedly supplied the contaminated maple/bacon jam for the Cronut burgers that contaminated @ 250 people at the Canadian National Exhibition during the summer of 2013.
toronto dude / August 27, 2013 at 04:06 pm
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weird that it can be killed at 78 degrees after only 1 minute but this heating didn't happen. scary that 20% of the population carry it and most don't know and... it's the same culprit that causes the hospital outbreaks of staph infections. good thing no one with an open wound rolled around in their cronut burger or projectile expelling of bodily substances would be the least of their worries.
Pete / August 27, 2013 at 04:23 pm
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The maple jam Le Dolci provided for the cronut burger at The EX was the source of contamination. I would never buy anything from this place.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2013/08/27/toronto-maple-bacon-jam-contaminated-cronut-burger.html
Warren / August 27, 2013 at 04:31 pm
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Toronto Public Health released today the results of their investigation into the outbreak of food-borne illness at the CNE and as it turns out it wasn't all Epic Burger and Waffles' fault for making dozens of CNE-goers sick last week. But it was the cronut burger's fault. Or, rather, the maple bacon jam topping on the burger supplied by local bakery Le Dolci. Alas, while Le Dolci figures out how something called the Staphylococcus aureus toxin made it into their fancy jam, Epic Burgers will re-open today ready to feed jam-less burgers and waffles to the masses.
Denise / August 27, 2013 at 05:17 pm
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Le Dolci will remain CLOSED as Toronto Public Health investigates the company. As per Toronto Star

http://read.thestar.com/#!/article/521cb68cec06916a700db3bc-cronut-burger-maple-bacon-jam-source-of-food-borne-illness-at-cne
Bella / August 27, 2013 at 06:51 pm
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My daughter and I took a class and looking back the instructor never washed her hands including after using the phone. There wasn't any hand sanitizer for the students either. The cupcakes we made were terrible. I could have bought a box mix and they would have tasted better. I threw out the cupcakes when I got home.
nancy / August 27, 2013 at 09:30 pm
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I was totally going to order my wedding cake from this place. THANK GOD I DIDN"T!!!!!

Can you imagine if this happened at a wedding and all your guests got sick. No thanks.



Monica / August 27, 2013 at 11:26 pm
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These people are liars! The statement on their Facebook page says they were going to close to the public because business is slow this time of year.

That is a lie. They were shut down by Toronto Public Health.
E. Toby Coke / August 28, 2013 at 06:26 am
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They've shut down???

Thank God I stocked up on maple bacon jam two weeks ago -- now I have enough to get me through the winter!!!
Sharon / August 28, 2013 at 11:05 am
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Le Dolci should stay closed for good. The cupcakes are bad and the service is even worse. The girl behind the counter had a friend hanging out and kept ignoring customers. She wasn't wearing a hairnet either. Good job in closing them down Toronto Health Board.
Earl / August 28, 2013 at 01:05 pm
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They are deleting comments on their Facebook page. They are not answering the phone. Not a good way to deal with a crisis. Some of the 200+ people who got sick from their product want answers.
MrPotato / August 28, 2013 at 02:05 pm
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You guys are cronuts, this place is awesome, Barth always greets me with a warm smile - http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lrhmzuDxaU1qjm2jbo1_500.jpg
Lynn / August 28, 2013 at 03:15 pm
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Hundreds of cases of food poisoning earlier this week when it was discovered that something wasn't right about the maple bacon jam cooked up by Le Dolci.

http://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2013/08/two_more_restaurants_shut_down_at_the_2013_cne/
Emily / August 28, 2013 at 10:15 pm
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They caused 100's of people to get sick and they were shut down by Toronto Public Health. I hope the victims bring a lawsuit against them because they had no regard for public health and safety.
Kent / August 29, 2013 at 12:12 am
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Toronto Public Health (TPH) has recently been investigating an outbreak of food-borne illness among individuals who visited the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto.

As of 8 a.m. today, TPH has received 223 reports from CNE visitors who experienced gastrointestinal symptoms.

TPH's investigation is focusing on the supplier of the bacon jam, Le Dolci, to determine how the contamination occurred. Le Dolci has voluntarily ceased production of this product. TPH will ensure that there will be no distribution of food products including the bacon jam from that establishment pending further investigation.

Read the full report here:

http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/it/newsrel.nsf/9a3dd5e2596d27af85256de400452b9b/9ec1551b24dc40c685257bd4004c8595?OpenDocument

Julia / August 30, 2013 at 06:28 pm
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If anyone needs cakes due to the closinfg of Le Dolci by Public Health there is a great place down the street called The Wedding Cake Shop. They make amazing cakes and they have never been closed down by the health board.
Dana / August 31, 2013 at 11:11 am
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I'm very upset. I have a order for a cake this weekend and only found out yesterday they were shut down. I received no call from Le Dolci and they are not answering the phone. I paid them a deposit and now I have no cake or my money. I am calling my credit card company to dispute the charge. You can tell alot about a company when something goes wrong in the way they handle a situation. Le Dolci has proven to be a bad business in more ways than one.
Niles / September 1, 2013 at 11:52 am
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Still no "I'm Sorry" from Le Dolci. Do they think this is just going to go away? Over 200 people got sick and you don't have the decency to say "sorry"? Why would anyone ever want to do business with you ever again?
Emily / September 1, 2013 at 08:32 pm
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The owner of this bakery has shown no remorse for causing a serious health and safety violation. No apology or any effort to compensate those who got sick from the tainted maple bacon jam. There's no excuse for this business to continue handling this situation so poorly and to criticize those who are upset about it (just check out their Facebook page). Although, I know many comments were deleted. I believe in supporting small businesses but this is unacceptable. There are plenty of other hard-working small business owners out there that care and value their customers. Not to mention others that believe in making quality food not just news headlines for profit and fame. Why would anyone want to support a business that has such poor ethnics?
Laura / September 2, 2013 at 03:52 pm
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My daughter was one of many who got sick after consuming a product of Le Dolci. They have not provided any information or addressed the situation on their website. The are not answering the phone or returning messages. What a horrible company.
Manny / September 3, 2013 at 09:51 pm
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People make mistakes all the time. Not saying that poisoning over 200 people is a small mistake. But how we deal with our mistakes is what counts the most. This aweful business has not yet once publicly said sorry for what happened. All they have done is thanked their Friends and family for all the support and lied about being closed for summer vacation when it was because Healh department said they could not operate until they figure everything out. How sad. Take some god damn responsibility for screwing up royally. I'm really hoping you don't servive this. Just on principal alone.
Sean / September 4, 2013 at 09:15 am
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I won't go there. DON'T WANT TO BE SICK. Remember the CNE!!!!
Warren / September 4, 2013 at 11:41 am
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Talk about lack of remorse or silencing the truth... you should read their twitter feed, the whole situation never happened to them. Within 3 months it'll be shut or good. You won't be able to Google them without seeing the words 'illness or sickness'
Carli / September 5, 2013 at 01:03 pm
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Why hasn't Le Dolci addressed the situation on their company website? Why are they remaining silent and ignoring the public's concern? Yet they have posted some 'damage control" photos on their Facebook page of happy-go-lucky patrons in decorating classes obviously before they poisoned over 200+ people at the CNE. I'm sure we wouldn't be seeing such happy faces if they knew the truth.
Jeff / September 13, 2013 at 01:00 pm
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One word sums up this place: crap
karen / September 30, 2013 at 12:02 pm
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my friend is one of the 250 some people who got sick from this crappy place. worst part was the lack of responsibility for the huge mistake made. i'm crossing my fingers that they close for good. Hopefully that can serve as an example of what NOT to do for other business owners.
Laura / December 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm
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Please do not support this business. Le Dolci poisoned my daughter at the CNE and never took responsibility for what happened. Kayla was in the hospital for 3 days and had to have her stomach pumped and was on meds for 2 weeks. They ignored my phone calls, the Doctor's calls. We left messages after messages and they never returned our calls. Le Dolci pretends like nothing ever happened. Horrible company.

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