keith lee toronto

Keith Lee starts fundraising campaign for Ajax bakery to find new location

An Ajax bakery that saw an uptick in business following a visit by TikTok star and food reviewer Keith Lee has been forced to stop operating out of its backyard location, although this story does have a happy ending. 

Family-owned and run bakery Biscuits to Baskets has been operating as a home-based business for several years out of founder Suzanne Smith's backyard shed, although a recent increase in customers due to the "Keith Lee effect" led to a visit by the Town of Ajax. 

"It has come to our attention that our back shed is not a suitable space for the business as it's separate from the main house," the business wrote, revealing that operations would cease to run out of the shed as of June 1. 

"This flew right under our radar and had not been addressed to us until now. For some context, we have been operating as a home-based business for 20 years and to the best of our knowledge, we've been following all protocols," staff said in a statement

In a video posted to TikTok on Tuesday, Keith Lee revealed that he would be assisting the family-owned business in acquiring a new location through a Cash App and PayPal campaign. 

"A surprising, kind of unfortunate, but fixable happened after this video. It was a family-owned business that was in a garage. Me and my family went and it was amazing, in my opinion and my family's opinion, and also the 1,000 plus people who visited in the last month," Lee said. 

@keith_lee125 #stitch with @Keith Lee 💕 Keith Speaks 💕 God Is Amazing 🙏🏽 #foodcritic @Biscuits To Baskets ♬ original sound - Keith Lee

"We're all on the same page, this business, and not only from a food perspective but from a customer service [perspective], from what they stand for to the spirit of the people who work there, amazing in my opinion," he continued. 

"There was one complaint that was put into the City. The City told them they can't be in the garage, they could be in the house at the front, but they can't be in the garage," the TikTok star explained. 

"That complaint has now taken this family-owned business who's been there for six years, to the point where they can't even operate anymore. Obviously, I didn't like that. The fact that me and my family had any part in this, whether it was positive — whether it was any part of it for me —didn't sit well with me." 

In conversations with the business, Lee advised against their decision to fully depend on selling t-shirts inspired by the TikTok star's visit to fund their move, as it might attract more customers to the home-based business and result in more complaints. 

"I asked for their permission and their blessings to make this video, and to make a Cash App, so if you want to or if anybody you know wants to help, to either fund a new building for them, fund a food truck, fund a food trailer, wherever this journey may take them," Lee said, adding that he also created a PayPal campaign for Canadian followers. 

In response to Lee's campaign, the bakery wrote how "humbled" they were to Keith Lee and his family for helping out the business. 

"Words cannot describe how my husband and myself are feeling. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts," the business wrote on Instagram. 

Customers can show their support for the business and securing a new location by donating to @Biscuits2Baskets on PayPal. 

Lead photo by

Keith Lee

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