Circles and Squares
Circles and Squares is no stranger to the Toronto wholesale bakery scene but since opening their retail space, they've been constantly selling out on the weekends — especially since winning the title of Ontario's best butter tart.
Located just down the street from Scarborough's Golden Mile, the bright and friendly cafe space is perfect for families and date nights alike.
"It's been a natural shift to retail for us," Executive Pastry Chef Lindsay Haddock tells blog TO. "We've always wanted a cafe."
In fact, people have been emailing them for 15 years asking if they were going to open a retail space. During the lockdowns, they tried home deliveries and participated in market pop-ups selling frozen items.
The team of pastry chefs likes to "switch things up with the things we love" on a monthly basis. Their top-selling cruffins have rotating flavours and during our visit, they had Lemon Meringue ($7) and Strawberry Rhubarb ($7) on the menu.
To keep up with demand on weekends, the bakery does three to four bakes during operating hours to ensure the cases never go empty. They sold over 100 cruffins on the day of our visit alone!
Both cruffins were perfectly layered and had a gooey filling that kept every bite moist and sweet. The Everything Bagel Cream Cheese Stuffed Croissant ($6) was a very pleasant surprise. The people at the table next to us told us they came especially for this and I completely understand why. It's creamy, savoury, and the perfect brunch dish. The Asparagus & Prosciutto Brioche Bun ($8), with its creamy goat cheese filling, was also a huge hit.The Pepperoni & Hot Honey Pizza Bread ($7) is another sell-out item. Served on an airy focaccia round, it's finished with a drizzle of hot honey and absolutely delectable.
The Brown Butter Cinnamon Buns are only available on weekends and have been a fan favourite for months.
The Maple Syrup & Oat Scone ($4) pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee.
The Wild Blueberry Coffee Cake Danish ($7) is reminiscent of a galette meets a juicy Pop-tart. Covered in cake crumble and sweet syrup, it really lets the berry's flavours shine.
The Peanut Butter & Jelly Cream Puff ($7) was another pleasant surprise, with a rich butter filling spilling out of the choux — just the way you'd would want it. Soft serve is new on the menu and also only available on the weekends. The current rotation is a seasonal strawberry and comes adorned with a croissant chip in a house-made waffle cone.
They also offer a Turtle Sundae which layers vanilla bean ice cream, caramel and chocolate sauces, and candied pecans for those with an overdeveloped sweet tooth.With a passionate team of women in the kitchen and front of house, you can feel their energy the moment you step inside the doors. Most of the customers are regulars, families, and kids from the neighbouring area.
In the fall, there's even a fire pit in the front to gather around. During the warmer months, it's not uncommon to see families set up a picnic outside on the lawn.Circles & Squares is located at 197 Bartley Drive, and is open Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.