There’s nothing sinister about Cinnastir Bake Shop in Fergus.
With cinnamon buns, different types of scones and flavoured butter tarts, this new business offers sweet and savoury.
“It was kind of a little play on the cinnamon bun,” said Julie Townsend, the baker and owner of Cinnastir Bake Shop about the name.
Cinnastir Bake Shop, which opened Monday, offers gourmet and decadent goodies with four ‘traditional’ flavours of butter tarts and scones.
“I’d like to have six of our staple flavours and then add in some seasonal flavours as we go through the summer,” Townsend explained. “We like to keep things fresh so people can order a seasonal flavour and also have the main staples.”
As someone who loves baking, Townsend said she loves sharing it with others just as much.
“Everybody’s happier when they’re sitting around the table and they’re eating together,” she said. “And it’s the stories that come out when you can relax and enjoy some good food.”
Based on the reviews of family and friends, Townsend expects the peanut butter chocolate tarts and loaded savoury scones to be popular.
“I have a long list of able volunteers who are quite happy to try out anything,” she said. “The requirement for any of our flavour testers is that they have to be completely honest and provide me with written feedback.”
For now, most of the baking is done in an industrial kitchen which Townsend rents in the Erin/Hillsburgh area. Currently, she is working on having her home kitchen renovated in order to start baking more there.
“We’re essentially a home-based online business,” said Townsend. “That’s why we kind of delayed our opening, so we could get our ducks in a row.”
In terms of ordering, they make everything for orders to ensure freshness, she said.
“They don’t have a very long shelf life."
Townsend recalls deciding to pursue baking and open up a business while off from work for two to three months during the beginning of the pandemic. She mentioned it was the first time that she was able to be at home with her family and thinking about what mattered to her, like baking.
“I’ve always enjoyed baking and it was something that I wished I could’ve done,” she said.
Since making that decision, she continues to work part-time as a dental hygienist.
“I was able to reduce my hours and then focus on stuff that actually makes me happy, baking, and also makes everybody happy who gets to enjoy them,” said Townsend.
Townsend recalls learning how to bake with both of her grandmothers growing up in the Erin/Hillsburgh area.
Back then in rural areas, she said there was no such thing as ordering takeout, so they learned how to make many different kinds of food themselves.
“I was also a very active member in the 4-H program,” Townsend said. “And part of that was a lot of homemaking clubs.”
The goodies from Cinnastir Bake Shop are made in small batches and without preservatives, much like you would make within your own kitchen.
“As soon as they have something warm and comforting like a cinnamon bun or butter tart,” Townsend said, “it just kind of brings you back to childhood where you used to get those home-baked goods.
“Things made in small batches always taste better.”
After receiving what she calls an "overwhelming" amount of positive feedback, Townsend said she is excited to share her baked goods with the community.
“I hope it brings people good feelings and memories back to truly having some home baked goods,” she said.
To learn more about Cinnastir Bake Shop, check out its Facebook page.