millie desserts toronto

Toronto bakery's start to new year keeps getting worse

A Toronto bakery has had a terrible start to its new year with two break-ins within one month.

It's an extra blow for Asian-influenced Millie Desserts whose break-ins have happened during the New Year and Lunar New Year season, and owner Christinn Hua is understandably feeling a bit defeated by the bad luck in an already challenging time. 

"Two break-ins within a month can do that to you," Hua tells blogTO. 

The first break-in was discovered on New Year's Day, but their door was only replaced on January 19.

They posted signs to their door on January 24 thanking the community for their support with changes as they dealt with the break-in and planned a store refresh. Because of the snow storm, they closed on January 25, and sadly experienced another break-in sometime between January 25 and 26.

millie desserts toronto

Signs posted at Millie Desserts. Photo by Christinn Hua.

"Oxley street has been and will be closed for the next year for the city to store construction equipment for hydro repairs or TTC repairs," says Hua. 

"This means no through traffic and the lack of visibility makes us an easy target. We’re lucky we have great neighbours across the street who look out onto our storefront and contact us if they see anything suspicious."

The break-ins have left Hua having to deal with the cost of repairs, clean-up, additional administration and coordination which she says amounts to "thousands of dollars" with a new door costing around $800.

"What's the cost of feeling afraid to be in my own store alone? What’s the cost of lower team morale, of feeling unsafe? These are costs that are not easily quantifiable and echo on," says Hua.

"Toronto is in the middle of a severe mental health crisis and the effects are trickling up. The state of downtowns make or break cities. I've been incredibly heartbroken over the past months over what I'm witnessing and experiencing first-hand."

They're trying to take preventative measures at Millie by going cashless, updating the security system, and working with the local BIA to improve security in the neighbourhood.

"We've had neighbours come in to share their own stories of heartbreak in robberies gone wrong, to share resources and connect us with people who can help," says Hua.

"As hard as the past month has been, I feel privileged to be able to continue creating desserts for our community and keeping the conversation going."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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