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Baked Goods

LPK's Culinary Groove

Posted by Tim / Posted on November 30, 2008

LPK's Culinary GrooveA recession may not be the best time to open a high end bakery, but if anyone can pull it off it's probably Lesia Kohut and her team at LPK's Culinary Groove. Coming off years of running a successful catering business out of her home kitchen, she has now gone retail, selling gourmet cakes, tarts, cookies, pastries and truffles from a green-accented spot near Dangerous Dan's Diner at Queen and Broadview.

Green is a recurring motif at this bakery. Not only are the walls painted a vibrant citrusy colour, but the business is very much focused on reducing their impact on the environment. They use certified organic and fair trade products wherever possible and they package up their sweets in bio-degradable containers. They also source many of their ingredients locally, although they make exceptions to bring in quality products from further a field such as ultra-rich cream cheese from Quebec.

LPK's Culinary Groove Cookies

Walking into the bakery, I spot items that only hint at the goodness that lies in store. Shelves are lined with pre-packaged chocolate, shortbread and cookies. But the indulgence doesn't come cheap. 10 smallish gluten-free ginger snaps run $8.50. A dozen or so gluten-free graham crackers cost a whopping $16.25; and six pieces of "oversized shortbread" are priced at $15.25.

There's also Cocoa Camino Semisweet Couverture Drops ($15 for a small bag or $28 for a large) plus a range of freshly-baked tarts like chocolate pecan, chocolate peanut butter mousse and lime cream in a graham cracker crust that are a more modest $5.25.

LPK's Culinary Groove Chocolate

While most of the offerings here include the usual buttery and fatty goodness that's to be expected, the kitchen does make an effort to cater to those with dietary restrictions. There are a number of vegan and gluten free options available off the shelf; and any of their cakes can be custom ordered to meet customer specifications.

One of the top sellers so far is the coconut lime cake which happens to be both vegan and gluten free. The 4 inch version is ready for pick up at $20 but larger sizes (6, 8, 10 and 12 inches) range from $30 to $65.

And if these prices are a bit beyond what you can stomach, there's always a chance to make some of them yourselves. The store offers three different baking classes - including Baking, Pastry and Chocolate Basics. But lessons don't come cheap either and cost $400 for six people.

LPK's Culinary Groove Toronto

For more of what's available at LPK's Culinary Groove, take a look at an excerpt of their menu below:

Discussion

11 Comments

Dawn / December 4, 2008 at 09:29 pm
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Very interesting - high prices but I guess if it's a treat why not. I'm intrigued that they have gluten free and vegan products, good to know when my friend visits over the holidays. I'll most definitely check them out.
Kim / December 5, 2008 at 12:45 pm
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Checked it out on opening weekend, and everything I tried was phenomenal. spicy shortbreads, truffles with cayenne pepper in them. Try it. Splurge..
Derek / December 5, 2008 at 02:28 pm
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Our office brought in some of their cupcakes for a meeting last week and they were amazing. A real hit with everyone!
montauk / December 6, 2008 at 04:37 am
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I'd like to be receptive...but I think their name is pretentious and their goods are way overpriced. Also I'm sick of every new place having the same "fresh" lime-green Telus design theme.

Also putting hot spices in chocolate, at this point, is about as incredible as hazelnuts. Tasty but traditional. So far my best chocolate experiences have been the creme brulee truffle from Chocolate Addict (Kensington), the pumpkin truffle from Kakayo (Coxwell), and the spiced hot chocolate from Delight (Junction)...which was almost spiritual.

I know that's a lot of snark, so let me mitigate it by saying their handwriting is lovely, their drops look luscious, and that little cake picture is oh so pretty.
stephanie / December 6, 2008 at 04:00 pm
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Montauk -- you say you'd like to be receptive -- I challenge you to go try one of LPK's truffles or tarts before you make assumptions about the store. Lesia's stuff is beyond anything else I've ever had; if you talk about food being a spiritual experience, this is it. Try it before you knock it, please.
montauk / December 6, 2008 at 04:47 pm
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I can't...I can't afford it. I'm not being snarky here, I'm being serious. I consider a little gingerbread cookie for $1 or a 4-inch cake for $20 to be way, way out of my budget range. I believe you that their stuff is good, but you've got to admit that they aren't exactly a realistic option for the majority of Torontonians.

I think you can make this kind of stuff reasonably priced. And I don't mean Chinatown's "reasonably priced", but $5 for one inch of cake is a bit much. Even if they are fairly traded and organic.
gigi / January 23, 2009 at 06:48 pm
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great place... but what happend to the appreciated employee service that no one metions when costumers walk in the store.she was awesome...i think her name is nicole .i over heard someone in the shop call her ,but to make a long story short staff should also get credit when credit is due.yours trully gigi
ps the short bread is the bomb.hats off to you ...lesia.
giulia / February 8, 2009 at 12:22 am
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i lOoOve lesia and her fabulous tasty baked goods. she's wonderful, completely unpretentious, and a true artist. she designed and baked the cake we served at our wedding reception and it was one of the major highlights of the evening. (we had eloped months prior, so the actual wedding ceremony was a done deal). i wish her and her business ALL the success in the world. just wish i were still in Toronto so i could make a trip to her shop a part of my weekly routine!
disgruntledcustomer / March 21, 2011 at 06:23 pm
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Good but not worth the very expensive price.
Jane / February 29, 2012 at 02:44 pm
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Need a 3 TIER wedding cake (black fruit cake) any idea how much it costs for a 6" & 9" & 12" covered with marzipan and fondant ?? decorated with red roses on top. Need pricing??
phuong / November 23, 2012 at 09:28 am
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high prices for sure.

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