Petite & Sweet Bakes
Petite & Sweet Bakes offers more than just your standard cupcakes — they'll swoop in and plan your entire event, if you let them. The bakery/event planning agency just opened a Riverside location after operating the business from their Summerhill cafe for two years. They do birthdays and family gatherings, but don't balk at sizable events like weddings and corporate catering gigs. You can view a full list of their many event planning services on their website , but beware that if you go with them, you'll likely be in for a girly experience.
The shop itself is designed for picking up a treat or custom order. There's no seating to sit and lounge over a coffee and a treat, and as such, it's got a quiet vibe when I pop in on a Thursday afternoon. It seems to be more focused on the decor and event planning aspects, as the walls are lined with shelves stocked with party aides like birthday cards, baking books, Hello Kitty DIY cupcake sets, fun napkins and sparklers.
"Get to the treats!" you say?...Oh, the treats. Though there's a relatively small selection in store, I find nothing wanting in this department. There are mini Chinese takeout containers full of candy, many-flavoured macarons ($2.50), brownies ($3.25), and hazlenut chocolate-chip cookies ($2.75), among other delectable-looking sweets.
But when I visit a place like this, I'm drawn to the cupcakes like Cherry Valance is drawn to boys from the wrong side of the tracks. They showcase flavours of the day, and when I visit, it's Key Lime. I am prejudiced against cupcakes that do not involve chocolate, so naturally, I go for a chocolate on chocolate option ($2.50). It's on the list of top five cupcakes I've ever had the good fortune of knowing. It is graced with creamy, buttery icing that melts all over the place in the sun. The cake itself can only be described as having a thick, dense texture, but it maintains softness. None of the crunchiness you will find on a cheap, forlorn cupcake who has spent too many days in a display case will be found here; only awesomeness.
This is probably due, in large part, to the fact that everything is made in-house. Alongside the sweets, the menu features gourmet teas in flavours like Lavender Fields and Kombucha Detox ($3.00) and Italian Hausbrandt coffee for $2.25.
Cupcakes aside, I wouldn't expect the friendliest of service from Petite & Sweet. The young woman who was working at the time did not seem especially interested in customers, anyway, at least from what I could see. She was pretty focused on Facebook or whatever she was doing, and not especially down to chat. A tad ironic, given the name of her workplace.
All of that said, I would still give Petite & Sweet three mini-cakes out of four. Like contestants on The Bachelor, no one is here to make friends; they're just on a quest for a lil somethin sweet. Add that to the fact that they'll plan my event, and I'm mostly sold.
Photos by Jesse Milns