The sun was streaming through the windows as I walked eagerly through the front door of the Sleepy Baker at Queen & Coxwell. I’d heard about this place opening up in my hood a few weeks ago, and had been itching to check it out ever since.
Once inside I was greeted by Tina & her husband Chris, co-owners of the new shop. They were quick to walk me through the cases, and made suggestions as to what I might like to try (it didn’t take much convincing – they had me an Nutella stuffed cookie!!)
Lemon squares, cinnamon buns, raspberry linzer cookies, mini fruit pies, almond cookies….let’s be honest, they were all calling my name.
But I also enjoy a good family story when it’s attached to a bakery, and Sleepy Baker didn’t disappoint.
Tina’s grandmother was a traveler and wherever she went during her life, she picked up recipes which she compiled into one book. When grandma died, the book came into the hands of Tina’s mother Nina. Turns out Nina also had an aptitude for baking and over the years, she re-created the collection of tasty treats for family and friends.
Tina knew the recipes and her mom’s talent were a winning combination, so when the space opened up at 7 Coxwell Ave. they decided to give it a go and, Voila! Sleepy Baker was born.
Now I didn’t actually see anyone sprawled out across flour sacs in the kitchen, so the inevitable question is, why Sleepy Baker?
Laughing, Tina explains “My mom used to get up so early in the morning when she was baking for a family event or holiday. Then she’d disappear in the afternoon – she had to get some sleep. So over the years, she became the Sleepy Baker”. And true to form, Nina now shows up to the bakery at 4 or 5 a.m. to bake for the day, and retires in the afternoon to rest.
It seems like the effort is paying off. Nina’s chocolate chip cookies and brownies are now being sold at Alliance Cinemas in the Beach, and a selection of cookies has made it onto the shelves at McEwan Foods.
And what did my taste buds decide about Sleepy Baker? Faaaaaan-tastic.
My faves were the Nutella stuffed cookie, the brownie, cinnamon bun and almond cookie. My husband and son loved the chocolate chip cookie and mini fruit pies. And yes, we will most definitely be back very, very soon.