[UPDATE] Why I No Longer Support Kelly’s Bake Shoppe

Kellys Bake Shoppe

I once wrote that Kelly’s Bake Shoppe was my favorite bakery in the world. I’ll include my original post below so you can see how I once felt about this bakery. Justin and I bought each other’s birthday cakes here every year. We’d drive down to Kelly’s (a half hour away!) to treat each other to cupcakes, desserts, ice cream, and other vegan treats. I was a customer back when they owned a vegan restaurant and small grocery store before Kelly’s Bake Shoppe opened. However, I am no longer a customer of Kelly’s and I do not support this business. I am very disappointed in the actions of the owners. I’m not the only one who feels this way – take a look at the latest reviews of the bakery on Happy Cow and Yelp.

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Why do I no longer support Kelly’s Bake Shoppe? You can read many of those reasons in this article by In Halton, a local website. There are numerous reasons that I will not personally visit this bakery any longer. First, they silenced their followers not once, but twice, on important issues surrounding their posts about Black Lives Matter. I wrote a comment on one of their Instagram photos that was sadly deleted (along with the rest of them). Second, there were some conspiracy theory tweets on Twitter that made me feel pretty uncomfortable. There are several other reasons that have been brought to my attention that I won’t list out here, but are solid reasons to visit other bakeries instead.

Bakeries to Visit Instead

Here is where you can find vegan baked goods and treats in the Toronto and Hamilton area:

  • Apiecalypse Now (Toronto)
  • Bloomers (Toronto)
  • Tori’s Bakeshop (Toronto)
  • Copenhagen Cafe (Toronto)
  • Sweets From the Earth (Toronto)
  • Daddy O’ Doughnuts (Mississauga)
  • The Cold Pressery (Mississauga)
  • Dar Nabati (Oakville)
  • La Dolce Vita (Oakville)
  • Bliss Truffles & Gelato (Hamilton)
  • Fairly Frosted (Hamilton)
  • The Hearty Hooligan (Hamilton)
  • Democracy (Hamilton)
  • Planted In Hamilton (Hamilton)

My Original Blog Post

This is what I originally wrote about Kelly’s Bake Shoppe a few years ago. Kelly’s Bake Shoppe is my favorite bakery in the world. There, I said it. It’s a very bold claim. I’ve eaten numerous vegan baked goods from different areas of the world; I’ve had my share of tasty plant-based treats in the Toronto area alone. But in the end, none of them seem to compare to the ones that I can get at Kelly’s. And would you believe that everything is also gluten-free?

I’ve been a fan of Kelly’s Bake Shoppe since the beginning. Located in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, the business began as a small vegan and gluten-free grocery store serving up light meals, baked goods, and smoothies. Back in those days, the establishment was known as Kindfood. The restaurant and bakery portions of the store were so successful that the owners decided to focus primarily on their delicious homemade fare.

Eventually, the bakery opened its own location as Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, while the restaurant exists in the same original spot a block away (now known as Lettuce Love Cafe). The owners, Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie are a mother/daughter duo who are passionate about creating baked goods that are not only delicious, but also healthy.

Kelly's Bake Shoppe

Healthy Desserts

Wait a second…did someone say healthy and dessert in the same sentence? Well, these treats are just about as healthy as baked goods are going to get. Made with only organic and fair-trade ingredients, they use only natural flavors from applesauce, cocoa, lemon, agave, cocoa, peppermint, and coconut. All of their desserts are gluten-free, milk-free, egg-free, butter-free, casein-free, and peanut-free, making them appropriate for many who suffer from food allergies. They only use natural colors at the bakery, sourced naturally from beets and flower petals.

Kelly's Bake Shoppe
Award-Winning Baked Goods

Kelly’s Bake Shoppe has won numerous awards for their delectable baked goods, such as Best Bakery in Toronto and the GTA, and Best Dessert in the GTA for their Mile High Brownie, both from the Toronto Vegetarian Association. The Mile High Brownie and the Dulce de Leche cupcake have won top awards at Toronto’s Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-off. Kelly and Erinn have both been featured in the Happy Cow Cookbook, and they will be releasing their own vegan and gluten-free cookbook soon (can’t wait!).

Kelly's Bake Shoppe

The Baked Goods

On a daily basis, you’ll find a variety of cupcakes, muffins, cookies, cookie sandwiches, donuts, brownies, and bars. You can find a listing of everything that is served at Kelly’s on their menu. There are also daily specials that alternate on a weekly basis, and some desserts are seasonal only.  

For instance, you’ll always find the classic favorites of vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, chocolate mint, and lemon zest cupcakes on the menu. However, in July, you’ll be able to buy cupcakes that just scream summer: Rootbeer Float and Pina Colada.

Justin and I made sure to try two seasonal cupcakes when we visited in June: the S’mores cupcake and the Lime Mojito cupcake. Some other treats that we tasted included a Triple Fudge Brownie, a Skinny Cookie, a World Peace cookie, a Chocolate Chip cookie and a Snickerdoodle.

Kelly's Bake Shoppe
Kelly's Bake Shoppe
Kelly's Bake Shoppe
Mile High Brownie
Kelly's Bake Shoppe
Kelly's Bake Shoppe
Kelly's Bake Shoppe

Everything we ate was so delicious. The S’mores cupcake tasted just like the campfire favorite. Even the marshmallows were slightly toasted! The lime mojito cupcake was refreshing and zesty with a hint of salt, similar to the beverage. The brownie was rich and decadent, especially with that chocolate ganache frosting.

Sometimes with gluten-free baked goods, the cake itself can taste rather dry…but that’s never an issue here. You would actually never know that the desserts are gluten-free or vegan. They taste just like the original versions that are filled with dairy and wheat, but even better.

The World Peace cookie and Skinny Cookie would work great as breakfast snacks (or any time of the day when you’re craving a treat). In fact, anytime I take a flight when I’m traveling, I always make sure to pack some of these cookies for my trip.

They’re great on those occasions when you know you’re not going to find anything satisfying to eat at the airport or on the plane, especially if you’re eating a vegan or gluten-free diet. The classic chocolate chip cookie and snickerdoodle tasted very yummy, too. Even my friends who don’t have any dietary restrictions love to visit this bakery; believe me, we’ve all gone on several occasions.

Kelly's Bake Shoppe
Kelly's Bake Shoppe
Kelly's Bake Shoppe
Kelly's Bake Shoppe

There’s also a separate refrigerated area with cookie sandwiches (two cookies with frosting in the middle), Nanaimo bars (a Canadian favorite!), Rice Krispie squares, and more. Not pictured is a freezer section with trays of cupcakes and full-sized cakes. These cupcakes and cakes defrost great; it is recommended that if you don’t consume your treats within 24 hours that you put your treats in the freezer so they don’t dry out. You can also order entire cakes for special occasions, such as birthdays or weddings.

Kelly's Bake Shoppe

Looking for the perfectly paired drink to go with your cupcake? Kelly’s serves coffee, tea, and carries a variety of non-dairy milks. You can also find soft serve ice cream in the summer! Treat yourself to a vanilla, chocolate, or vanilla-chocolate swirl ice cream with whatever toppings you’d like. Your options include sprinkles, chocolate chips, chocolate fudge, caramel, and even a scoop of cookie dough.

Kelly's Bake Shoppe
Kelly's Bake Shoppe

What’s one reason that people keep coming back to Kelly’s besides the yummy food? The staff and the service. Every time we visit, we’re always greeted by smiling faces welcoming us to the store. Everyone always has positive, upbeat attitudes and are pleased to assist us. And it can get crazy busy here on the weekends – I’ve visited on Saturdays where the line-up has been out the door! The high quality of the desserts and the friendly staff contribute to an excellent experience.

If you live in the Toronto area or happen to find yourself near Burlington, Ontario in the future, it’s definitely worth the trip to Kelly’s Bake Shoppe. And while you’re at it, take a walk by Lake Ontario – the bakery is located right near the lake and you can go for a wonderful stroll along the waterfront path.

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Do you know about any other vegan and vegan-friendly bakeries in the GTA? Please share them with us!

22 Responses

  1. Margaret
    |

    The best muffins ever :)

  2. Karianne
    |

    Oh my, that all looks absolutely mouthwatering. We’ve wanted to visit Ontario for a while now – this is just another reason for us to go!

    The best vegan bakery we’ve found so far is Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, PA. Our family live out there and were very excited for us to try it out – it was amazing!

  3. Lydia C. Lee
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    Looks amazing!! I’m sort of amazed it’s all vegan!? (but I’m not much of a cook, so easily confused!)

  4. Hannah
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    I’m not a big cake/cupcake girl after working in the industry for so long but those brownies look AMAZING! And I can never say no to a good cookie…yum :)

  5. antonette - we12travel
    |

    This looks awesome! I’m trying to lose some weight right now (so – no snacks after dinner) and I’m craving some food … they all look totally delicious and the place looks so cozy and welcoming, too. If I’m ever around in ON again, I’ll definitely keep this in mind!

  6. kami
    |

    This bakery looks just the prettiest and the cupcakes are soooo delicious! I wish we had a place just like this here, I’d be stopping by every other day for sure ;)

  7. Elizabeth
    |

    Those cupcakes and doughnuts look absolutely amazing. Your photos made me so hungry…now I need some kind of treat!

    Thank you for linking up with the #REASONS2TRAVEL linkup! I hope to see you there again next month :)

  8. Lisa Woood
    |

    Oh gosh Gluten free….I so wished I was close enough to Kelly’s Bake Shoppe – its so very hard to find anything Gluten free that taste good {especially cakes}. What a fantastic place, and yes costumer service is what makes a great store a Fantastic Store, and most places have lost the personal touch….could easily see how the line up would be out the door.
    Great pics by the way!

  9. Rhonda Albom
    |

    My brain struggles with this – gluten free, vegan, healthy and delicious. Sounds like a magical combination and a great find.

  10. Margherita
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    This bakery sounds like it’s worth the trip to canada! As you said, vegan sweets are often dry, but these look moist and delicious! Great find :)

  11. Angie
    |

    I am SO IMPRESSED!! Vegan and gluten free. I will actually make a point of going to Burlington when I am back home just to go here, the cookies look SO GOOD!

    Angie from reasons to dress, fashion, travel and life as a mom in Italy.

  12. Michele {Malaysian Meanders}
    |

    I’m seriously hungry for some baked goods now. I was just wishing today that there was a really great bakery near my house, but perhaps it’s better for my waistline that there isn’t. Kelly’s Bake Shoppe looks wonderful. Those different seasonal flavors for cupcakes practically have me drooling. That the shoppe also sells coffee and then ice cream in the summer is the icing on the cake. No wonder you love this place. Thanks for linking up on #WkendTravelInspiration.

  13. Connie Reed
    |

    What a way to have dessert and not feel guilty. It all looks delicious.

  14. Jill
    |

    With a weakness for doughnuts, they would be my first choice. But really any baked good is tops in my book. What a cute shop!

  15. Ruth - Tanama Tales
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    Everything looks yummy and beautiful! I would not know what to chose. The mile high brownie looks delicious.

  16. Anda
    |

    What a neat bakery, Lauren! I’m a sweet addict so I think this would be a fun place for me to visit someday. Thanks for sharing this.

  17. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor
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    How could I not click on a post that is titles “favorite bakery” – I love baked goods! I’m having a hard time believing those cupcakes are healthy – they look amazing!

  18. Lyn - A Hole in my Shoe
    |

    Thanks for sharing all these delicious treats with us at #TheWeeklyPostcard. Kelly’s looks like a great find.

  19. Paula McInerney
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    One word – yum

  20. GiselleandCody
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    Yum Yum Yum!!! So many great vegan bakeries around Ontario!!

    Kelly’s is another awesome place that we have eaten at a few times and love it so much!!

  21. Dale
    |

    I don’t know why but I’ve actually heard of Kelly’s before. Maybe through you Lauren, but maybe through the HappyCow newsletter or something?

    The place looks great and the food looks about 10x better than it does.

    It has all the right components to be a favourite bakery, so I’m not surprised that it’s yours :)

    • Jessica @finelinetravels
      |

      I tweet about Kelly’s all the time! I couldn’t agree more with Lauren…this place is the absolute best! We lived in Burlington for four years before taking off on our travels, and I made it a mission on our RTW to try and find a place that even came close to Kellys, but I couldn’t. And now I’m craving one of their delicious cupcakes…and snickerdoodle cookies……. :)