Wild Earth Bakery and Cafe
Wild Earth Bakery is shiny and brand new. And there's something refreshing about stepping into this Beaches bakery. For one thing, the tables and chairs match, quite the anomaly these days. And the walls are walls. No exposed woodwork here. From the interior and the tunes to the coffee and the treats, there's nothing trendy about this place - unless you call inclusive baked goods trendy, which you might, since they're a somewhat new phenomenon. But I won't call them trendy. For the sake of my wheat sensitive friends, I'll call them progress!
The Queen streetcar tracks are in a pretty tough spot these days, so on our way to Wild we had (way too much) time to discuss how frustrating it would be to be afflicted with a wheat allergy. I'm sure Wild Earth is a bakery balm for folks in the Beaches with dietary restrictions. The entire bakery is nut free ("we don't even carry coffee with nuts in the name") and each pastry is accompanied by a little sign indicating whether it's gluten free and/or vegan and organic. The pastries that do involve flour are made with spelt , so you're bound to make an all 'round good decision whatever you choose.
Furthermore, everything looks lovely. The goods are baked in Whitby and shipped in fresh, including some rather intriguing options such as the chocolate peaNOT butter bar and a gluten free, sugar free, vegan toddler teething bar. I don't have any toddlers to purchase teething bars for (though I'm definitely going to keep that thing in mind) so I choose a cookie sandwich while Alyssa, who does not have a wheat allergy (as far as she knows), selects a gluten free chocolate cupcake, in solidarity with those who do. I'm happy to report that she took one bite of it and said, "at least I could still have this if I had a wheat allergy." It was fresh and light with hunks of chocolate baked inside of it and topped with sweet buttercream.
My own dessert was loaded with buttercream (which is why I selected it) sandwiched between two fresh chocolate chip cookies with that distinct spelty taste and texture that always makes me feel fantastic about consuming sugar. The buttercream was cold and rich and definitely on the sweet side. Both of us had coffees from the fair trade, organic brewing company, Mountain View . It's available by the pound, along with tea from the same company. Wild also offers a plethora of gluten free cereals and crackers, natural honeys and homemade sauces and preserves. They plan to introduce soups and sandwiches on to the menu in the fall.
At the counter I found free samples of gluten free cookies and cheesecake (sadly, no teething bar) and everything was delicious. Wild Earth's website declares you won't be able to tell the difference between gluten free items and plain old organic goods. A visit here proves this to be true. Without those little signs, I'd be lost as to what's what.
Photos by Alyssa Bistonath