This Westboro Bakery is serving up mouth-watering vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free treats
Before you step inside Strawberry Blonde Bakery, the warm and inviting specialty bake shop in the heart of Westboro, there’s one thing you should know: it’s very, very difficult to resist the temptation of their freshly made donuts.
This is something that the many fans of this popular destination for vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free baked goods and desserts know quite well. But for those skeptical of this style of baking, their first experience isn’t usually their last.
“I think there’s definitely a stigma around vegan and gluten-free food, and people may come in here expecting things to not taste as good,” says Strawberry Blonde founder Jacqui Okum. “But when they have a donut or a cinnamon bun, they’re surprised.”
It’s this kind of positive response that keeps Okum baking high-quality, delicious vegan, gluten-free and nut-free goods – even if it means winning over one culinary skeptic at a time.
Passion for Vegan Baking
Strawberry Blonde reflects Okum’s passion for vegan baking – something she decided to turn into a career after living in Toronto a decade ago, where she noticed a lack of vegan dessert options. “I decided to open my own vegan bakery. I wanted to do it right, so I enrolled in the baking program at George Brown College.”
Meet the owner of this renowned Westboro Bakery
After moving to Ottawa with her husband, Okum began selling her baked goods at a market stall. “There wasn’t much of a choice for vegan desserts in Ottawa at the time,” she explains, “and a lot of people were asking if I had anything gluten-free or nut-free.” The response from her customers was so positive that, within a year, Okum’s business evolved to wholesale supply before finally opening up shop in Westboro.
Wide range of baking to choose from
Today, Strawberry Blonde Bakery offers an impressive range of baked goods – everything from Nanaimo bars and more than a dozen cupcake flavours to cookies, cinnamon buns, and even heat-at-home pizzas and Tourtières. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Eye-popping selection aside, at the end of the day it all comes down to taste. Strawberry Blonde Bakery certainly isn’t lacking in that department either – according to Okum, she just wants to make products that taste and look as good as their traditional counterparts. Most would agree that she’s accomplished that and then some.
About Westboro Discover Local
Time and time again, residents are drawn to Westboro Connection because of the thriving Westboro community. In the spirit of helping to maintain this community, our Discover Local program introduces Westboro Connection tenants to local business like Strawberry Blonde Bakery. We’re proud of our commitment to supporting local business and excited to bring the very best that Westboro has to offer to our residents.