Baking up west-end charm: Bread & Butter Bakery

Come this spring, the Bread and Butter Bakery will be celebrating 16 years in the west end. Originally located two stoplights down Bath Rd., the bakery outgrew its original location eight years ago and moved to accommodate their expanding business.

The owner’s daughter, Katie Whitall said its current location is three times larger than before. Including her parents, her sister and herself, 35 people staff the bakery.

When Whitall, originally from the Niagara area, graduated from the business program at the University of Ottawa, she returned to work at the family bakery. This arrangement allowed her mother to devote more time to what she loved best – baking – while Whitall handles the frontend and management responsibilities.

“[My mother] can then bake and train and help others grow … There’s a lot of cooking programs, but there aren’t a lot of baking-focused programs,” Whitall said.

With some feel good 80s songs playing in the back room, I sat down with Whitall to talk about their family business:



Q: Were you in the bakery often before you went off to university?
A: My mom opened it when I was 13 … so I worked here and that was my high school job … and when I was home from university.

Q: What’s the bakery’s specialty?
A: Our Maritime bread is really popular as well as our multigrain, and then in our savoury section we do takeout meals (soups, salads, potpies). Chicken potpies and our quiche have always been really really popular. And then for the actual baking, butter tarts are probably one of the most popular items we sell as well as our fruit and cream pies.


Q: What do you sell out of quickly?
A: During the summer months, fruit pies because we’re using all fresh local fruits – so those fly off the shelves. In the wintertime, people tend to gravitate to comfort foods: lots of breads [and] soups.

Q: Why did you choose this location?
A: The west end doesn’t have a lot of baking restaurants. It’s starting to grow that way, local as opposed to the large chain restaurants. I think we’re a good addition to this end of town.

Q: What makes this bakery unique from others in Kingston?
A: We make everything here from scratch … no mixes, no prepared doughs [and] we bake everything fresh everyday. Our kitchen runs 24 hours a day in order to do that …. We use all natural products. We’ve got really great recipes and really great staff that pump it all out of here.



Q: Where do you find your recipes? Are any of them passed down in the family?
A: Some of them were my grandma’s recipes. Some of them are recipes my mom got from friends. For instance the maritime bread, her best friend [grew] up … in the Maritimes. … Others are recipes we find any and everywhere and adapt to make it work for us.

Q: Do you get any special orders or requests?
A: We get a lot of parents [of Queen’s students] who call from out of town; they [have children] who are not home for their birthday or [because of] exams. They’ll call us to put together some stuff and we’ll deliver it.



Q: What do you do with the leftovers?
A: We have a 50 per cent off rack where we put some stuff and then we donate to the food bank [from Monday to Friday] and Martha’s Table [on the weekend] … We also donate to the Ban Righ Centre at Queen’s.

Q: Does all your family work here?
A: From my close family … we all work here, everyday, and everyone else is like family.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Bread and Butter Bakery is located at 1530 Bath Rd.
For more information please visit:
www.breadandbutter.ca


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