Bakers Journal

Editor’s Letter: June 2015

May 27, 2015
By Brian Hartz

The Results Are In

Bakers Journal’s first-ever Jake the Baker Award competition drew nearly two dozen entries from all across Canada. When the application period closed on April 3, the judges were faced with the daunting task of choosing one winner out of so many well-qualified bakeries.

The stakes were high: an award plaque for the winner to hang in his or her bakery, an all-expenses-paid trip to Montreal for
Bakery Congress 2015 and a cover story in the July 2015 issue of Bakers Journal.

So, it came as little surprise that the number and quality of entries was so impressive. Before I reveal the winner, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our generous sponsors: Ardent Mills, Callebaut and Bunge Oils.

A very special thank-you goes out to oven manufacturer Miwe Canada for its sponsorship of our 75th anniversary cake featuring Jake the Baker himself, which was displayed – and consumed – at the Bakers Journal booth at Bakery Congress 2015. Catherine Beddall of Catherine’s Cakery in Ottawa made the cake, and we thank her for her efforts as well.

Most of all, we thank you, our readers in the baking industry of Canada, for your ongoing support that allows us to connect with the fantastic bakeries across this great country and give them a chance to enjoy some much-deserved time in the spotlight as a reward for their hard work, business savvy and innovation.

So, without further ado, the winner of the inaugural Jake the Baker Award is …

Patisserie Daniel in Victoria, B.C., owned and operated by Daniel Vokey. His wife, Teresa Vokey, nominated him for the award.

In the estimation of our judges, Vokey’s bakery best fulfilled the contest’s primary criterion: success through innovation and business savvy. Patisserie Daniel, which has been in business for more than 20 years, excels across a broad spectrum of sweet and savoury baked goods, including French pastries, traditional European-style breads, potpies and even wedding and other special-occasion cakes. In fact, the bakery’s website has an entire bridal section devoted solely to wedding ideas.

Patisserie Daniel also stays on top of trends – it offers a full range of dairy- and gluten-free products, as well as vegan cakes and pastries. And it markets its products to a broad swathe of potential patrons, not just the lunch crowd and brides-to-be. Teresa says the bakery is targeting customers who enjoy entertaining at home with its burgeoning selection of gourmet meat and seafood pies. They use local meats such as rabbit, elk and, of course, wild West Coast salmon.

“We found over the years that our customers are looking for a wow factor when it comes to having guests over and serving something special,” Teresa wrote. “The standard potpies, that for years have been popular on the take-home menu board at many bakeries, were due for change.”

For the full story on Patisserie Daniel, watch for next month’s issue of Bakers Journal.

In closing, I would like to thank all the bakeries who submitted entries for the Jake the Baker Award, particularly the rest of our finalists, led by runner-up Pikanik Creations in Surrey, B.C., owned by Joanna Schultz and nominated by Hanna Sogo, the bakery’s manager of culinary innovation. Second runner-up was Kimberley City Bakery in Kimberley, B.C., while Jelly Modern Doughnuts in Calgary and Toronto finished in fourth place and German Bakery/Sachsen Cafe & Restaurant in Annapolis Royal, N.S., garnered fifth place.

If you work or live anywhere near these fine establishments, please drop in, give them a pat on the back, and enjoy some of their delicious products. 

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