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Baked Goods

Mabel's Bakery & Specialty Foods

Posted by Joshua / Posted on December 29, 2008

Marc Thuet BreadMabel's Bakery & Specialty Foods opened for business this fall in the old Warmia Deli space on Roncesvalles, and after a total rennovation and completely revamped offerings, the storefront now features decidedly less Polish fare. But what is available - delicious fresh baked breads and sweets, along with prepared foods - has made Mabel's a must-stop amongst the neighbourhood patrons.

On a street filled with cafes, delis and the like, I wasn't convinced owner Lorraine Hawley would be offering things I couldn't get elsewhere (and likely, cheaper). I wouldn't call it inexpensive, but Mabel's has found a perfect niche on the street with sweets baked in-house (they had to hire a full-time pastry chef to keep up with demand) that are a welcome and rare departure from the Polish treats in most shops. With fair prices to boot.

Oh, and the bread. Mon dieu!

Marc Thuet baguettes, croissants and specialty loaves are brought in daily; on Fridays and Saturdays offerings from the east-end's St. John's Bakery complement Thuet's finest. And Bagel House bagels are available daily (90 cents each). There may not be a better baguette on Roncesvalles, and my wife and I have tried them all (we think). Thuet's baguette at Mabel's comes in 20 cents cheaper ($2.79) than the Ace Bakery baguettes on the block, and is sublimely satisfying with it's crispier-than-thou crust and lighter-than-air la mie (paragraph 3).

Challah and Croissant

For a more special meal, or you know, Monday night, grab any of Thuet's specialty loaves ($5ish). I go a little too nuts for the challah, which has the softest interior after the most satisfying crust I've ever had on a challah (which is saying a lot, since my dad's cousins make their own for the Jewish holidays).

It's hard to decide which sweet to go for; the fresh-from-the-oven cinnamon sticky buns are not to be missed, and I couldn't resist the peanut butter fudge cookie sandwich ($2.25). In fact, you shouldn't miss it either. Unless the cupcakes grab you more; who am I to judge? The whole pies are a great addition to a dinner party; for around $15 you can take home an organic pie that is sure to delight your guests (or host).

Prepared Foods

For the savory-minded there are some nice options to comprise or complement any meal. Lorraine or one of her helpful staff members cheerily give instructions with the food, such as the time and temperature to reheat the personal lasagna. There is also a small but superb selection of artisan cheeses; I can highly recommend the Applewood Smoked Cheddar ($6.10/100g).

Refrigerated Case

There are also interesting spreads and the like; I was intrigued by the chipotle hummus ($3.50 for a container) and they carry my favourite pheasant and pork terrine. Also good to know is that they have some offerings for those with dietary restrictions, such as a gluten-free lasagna.


Mabel's has quickly become a go-to shop for us. The fresh bread is the best on the block, the staff are friendly and the place is, perhaps not surprisingly, always bustling. In fact, our chief complaint is that stopping on the way home from work is often a crap-shoot on getting a baguette, and we haven't been willing to stop on the way to work because realistically, the baguette would be at least half eaten by dinner anyway.

Mabel's Menu

Mabel's Exterior

Photos by Joshua.



paul johnston / December 30, 2008 at 08:31 pm
i can tell you - this is some FABULOUS stuff. another reason that Roncy sorta rocks!
Chris Smith / January 3, 2009 at 01:00 am
Congrats Lorraine!
Great to hear that you are doing well and have crated aplace your neighbours will come back to!
Jean Hawley / January 3, 2009 at 03:58 pm
Knew you could do it!!!
Miranda Sheppard / January 14, 2009 at 06:07 pm
Congratulations looks like an absolutley wonderful place. We will have to "head west" for a visit!
Terri / January 15, 2009 at 03:39 pm
could you please send your email address. Thank you
Terri / January 15, 2009 at 03:43 pm
looking for mabel's email address
Lorraine replying to a comment from Terri / October 28, 2009 at 02:46 pm
Joanne Chénier / November 23, 2009 at 06:40 pm
Congratulations Lorraine!! I keep reading up on your success and promise to stop by in the near future. I can hardly wait to sample all the goodies.
anni / January 13, 2010 at 06:09 pm
The Double Fudge Brownies are to die are the Blondies and other treats. The staff is friendly and helpful! Once you enter the store, you will not leave without buying a treat! Great stuff!
Pat / July 12, 2011 at 07:22 pm
Great addition to the neighbourhood, but why so little in the "whole grain" arena?
Sandra / October 25, 2011 at 04:53 pm
Yuck u got to be kidding! I went to this place and had their pecan pie it was disgusting nearly threw up. The crush was not blind baked, the bottom of the crust was raw, the filling was watering and tasted like toilet water and the pecans where stale and there was a horrible aftertaste. What a waste of money.
Lorraine replying to a comment from Sandra / November 24, 2011 at 04:53 pm
Hi Sandra, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your pie. Introduce yourself next time you're on Roncey and I'll make sure you are taken care of.
Lorraine replying to a comment from Pat / November 24, 2011 at 04:56 pm
Hello, we have lots of healthy prepared foods & whole grain breads. We specialize in traditional homestyle desserts however, which don't typically have whole grains in them. Our date squares however are organic whole wheat and oats.

Thanks for your feedback.
kait / January 9, 2012 at 09:33 pm
dembele / March 17, 2012 at 02:22 pm
I really really love the bread, baked goods and other products offered by Mabel's, they serve the best (Thuet's) croissants in Toronto

... however, the only detractor I've got to put forth is their (awesome, I must admit) cheese selection, which is great, but INCREDIBLY pricey, and these exorbitant prices are NOT posted on the cheeses, so you don't realize you are paying almost $60/kg (!!!) for gruyere cheese until you leave the store... please post prices so we know how much we are paying and can decide before hand are are not shocked when we look at the sticker/receipt... you can't put it back after its been cut...

Otherwise, like I said, fantastic little shop and I pay homage to what they provide to our village.
rose / February 4, 2013 at 06:26 pm
I have given this place a few trys in the past. I have not tried the bread or cheese.

I have tried a few of the baked goods. The cupcakes were very bad. The pecan square was good until I ate a rancid nut which was something I never want to experience again. So far nothing has been amazing. After the bad nut experience I will not be back for a while.

Lorraine replying to a comment from rose / April 13, 2013 at 06:17 pm
Sorry you had a bad experience with the pecan bar, we would be happy to replace it or refund you. We take special care to purchase from reputable suppliers and store our nuts carefully but as they are difficult to assess visually a bad one may have slipped through. In terms of the cupcakes, I've come to realize that everyone has a different (and very strong) opinion of what makes a great cupcake, light or dense, sweet or not so sweet, with French Buttercream or Italian or Swiss or American or Icing or Frosting... but we will happily exchange or refund any product you are not satisfied with.
Cindy / October 13, 2013 at 10:29 pm
sorry but this was our first experience here. we ordered two pies for thanksgiving and it was so embarrassing. the pumpkin pie appeared to not be cooked inside but the crust looked cooked. Everyone in my family which lives far from Toronto got to discuss whether the pie was cooked or not. The apple pie was better but neither pie was very good. I see above comments about other pies. Perhaps it is a cooking style that I am not accustomed to but I would not shop here again unfortunately. $32 for both pies and the pumpkin is going in the garbage.
Ashley / October 16, 2013 at 08:46 pm
Bought a couple of their mini pies(Sour Cherry & Pecan)and some vanilla bean shortbread cookies($9.00!) for my Mom on her birthday and everything was very disappointing and left me feeling very bad for not buying her something else. Pecan Pie was so runny and neither pie tasted good at all. Cookies were VERY dry and flavourless. I realize that shortbread are ofter drier but these were terrible!
Was going to special order a coconut cream pie for my dad on his birthday but am too frightened and will look elsewhere to try to avoid disappointment.
Lorraine Hawley replying to a comment from Cindy / October 17, 2013 at 08:27 am
Hello, sorry that you did not enjoy our pie. Our pumpkin pie is more of a traditional custard than many commmercial pies and should just hold together in the slice with the texture of a pudding or a perfectly cooked creme brule. We are always happy to exchange or refund any product you are not happy with.
Gerry / December 9, 2013 at 12:31 pm
I love this place. The staff are great and so is the food. My wife is addicted to the brownies!

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