While Guelph is still a work in progress coming throughout the city you can catch glimpses of why people are moving here from afar.
On any given Saturday, a cross section of Guelph’s most stylish residents converge upon the decidedly chic swath of Carden and Wilson Street, an area that has become one of the city’s creative hubs.
At the weekly market, local artisans ply organic honey, cured meats, artisanal bread, and handmade jewellery to an eclectic mix of patrons.
Today, central Guelph and beyond is lined with artist’s studios, co-ops, restaurants, bakeries and cafes. Trail blazing projects are popping up in other neighbourhoods as well.
Entrepreneurs are keen on opening something quirky. They are not merely cooking food that they know everyone expects and enjoys. The attitude is “let’s challenge them and do something completely different” and it’s working.
I will try to update regularly what is new and noteworthy in Guelph
Decadently Yours Bakery
Sisters Jenn Bonner (left) and Tara Riddell (right) originally had the bakery business based in Brantford, however as they both lived in Guelph, moving the bakery seemed logical. Making use of a prime location at the corner of Surrey and Neeve Street, the stunning backdrop of purple and black décor is a bold backdrop for the baked goods on offer.
All their products are baked the old fashioned way, the way the owner’s grandmother did it – from scratch using fresh, local ingredients. Boasting the use of only butter,-no lard, shortening, margarine or preservatives -is important in today’s market. Specializing in cupcakes, cakes and cookies, I was personally pleased to see that their specialties also include a selection of gluten free offerings including cookies and loaves and some pies. Vegans, Celiacs, and those needing dairy free with a sweet tooth have at least one option to choose from. Cupcakes are baked fresh daily with butter cream frosting, cream cheese frostings or chocolate ganach. Gourmet “pupcakes” for dogs are also available. Birthday parties where the children get to decorate their own cupcakes is offered on the premises.
119 Surrey Street. E., Guelph
39 Carden Street
Filling the gap where the popular Carden Street Café left off, this trendy bistro is owned by the same owners as Baker Street Station.
Traditional French menus feature hearty game meats . Chef Becky Hood (photo below) trained in Calgary then got to know local tastes by working at La Cucina and Artisinale before making the leap to Baker Street Station. Once the owners, Dave Clancy, Justin and Shannon Corstorphine and Caitlyn Heximar decided to open the French counterpart, Becky, who was instrumental in designing the menu, said it was a “dream come true.”
The substantial snack list available throughout the day includes duck wings, pork belly steam buns, rabbit and truffle mousse bacon dumplings, pulled pork sliders. Hearty brunch fare on the weekends offers pork belly eggs benny; mushroom spinach quiche, steak and eggs, and a traditional breakfast for the plainer palates.
Appetizers carry on the unusual fare with fried quail with fries, seared pork belly with maple mustard, eggplant and goat cheese flatbread, Seared scallops with iceberg puree, and bone marrow and mushrooms on toast.
Menus are on chalkboards and change frequently. Unusual offerings continue reputation began at Baker Street . Décor is an unusual combination of elegant chandeliers, industrial lighting, barn board that you would think wouldn’t work, but it does giving it an overall chic feel for all the young lovelies that were dining the evening I was there.
38-40 Carden Street, Guelph
Eric The Baker
Filling a gap is this newly opened bakeshop and café, which is small but mighty. With a French background, it is no surprise that Eric Chevalier s offering an authentic French experience. Eric’s beliefs have a high respect for “living food” which includes fresh butter, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables with no compromise. The combination of everything fresh is obvious in the offerings.
He learned to bake alongside his grandmother who owned the legendry La Petite Gourmet in Toronto. Not content to simply eat the cookies, he wanted to bake them himself, eventually creating tiny mice cookies that his grandmother carried in the shop.
Along with Chef Paula Moiseev (photo above) he is baking three types of bread to use in the sandwich makings and to accompany the soup including sourdough, a white loaf, and the ubiquitous baguette. He also does a mixture of spelt, rye and whole wheat. As well as regularly offering the traditional Pain au Raisin (my personal favourite) Eric created his own variations on the same theme; Black cherry with custard, Lemon curd with fresh blueberries, and Apple with maple syrup. Variations Morning breakfast, soup and sandwiches, Shepherd’s Pie, fine pastries, cookies, meringues and several gluten free options. Primarily take out , there are some seats available to eat in.
46 Carden Street, Guelph
Keeping it fresh , simple and tasty in Guelph, eat on…….