city bakers collective

Toronto's hottest bakeries during lockdown coming together in permanent space

A collective of what became some of Toronto's hottest bakers during lockdowns is now opening up their very own brick and mortar space.

City Bakers Collective was first founded in 2020 as an online market with a central pickup and delivery system, and just a couple years later has now raised $40,000 from just 78 backers to help make their dream of a permanent physical space come true.

The project was originally started by sisters Alysa and Jenna King, who respectively founded Bayfield Provisions and Bakewell.

Through their online marketplace, it's been possible to purchase items like cakes, cookies, bars, tarts, pies, beignets, granolas, pastries and even savoury options from local makers.

In addition to Bayfield and Bakewell, the online shop also became the place to find baked goods from Backstage Bakeshop and Johnson Family Bakery.

"Bayfield Provisions had been baking out of a shared production space in Toronto that had been an amazing place to grow, but we were becoming too big and had ideas for expansion that were not going to fit. Jenna also was ready to move to the next level with her baking," Alysa King tells blogTO.

"As we were already helping each other with our respective businesses and were still running online CBC monthly sales with rotating guest bakers, we decided to turn that idea into bricks and mortar. As long-time east enders, when the old City Betty space came up at 1352 Danforth Ave, we pounced."

The space will now be the permanent home for these businesses, and will also host rotating local bakers and small businesses. It also doesn't hurt that the sisters live within a 15-minute walk.

"Johnson Family Bakery has been growing quickly over the last year. We set up a small commercial bakery space in the basement of a restaurant last fall," Charles Johnson of Johnson Family Bakery tells blogTO.

"We have had a great season selling through farmers markets as well as our open-air bread market in front of our bakery. Having an permanent indoor space will allow us to continue that growth and add some exciting new menu items."

The money is going to be used for equipment, packaging, delivery costs, signage, decor, social media costs, other exterior elements like a bench, and a Newcomer Employment Program for Women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ that will offer professional baking training.

"We are just aiming to have some great people and products with new things and pop-ups happening every month," says King.

"We will also have a small selection of packaged goods and niche grocery items available from other local makers that we love, and I am hoping even a small selection of weird and wonderful small-producer wines."

City Bakers Collective should be opening Sept. 17 at 1352 Danforth Ave. They're intending to start with opening hours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

"The selling space is obviously super important for my business, but probably the main reason why we got involved with the City Bakers Collective was an immediate synergy I had with Jenna and Alysa," says Johnson.

"We all share the same values around quality and creativity in our baking, as well as creating ethical companies that treat our employees and our communities as well as possible. It was a very natural fit right from the beginning."

Lead photo by

City Bakers Collective

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