UPDATE, JANUARY 16: A note from Renee: “We’re training in the kitchen and on the tills today (Saturday) from 10am onward, so come on by and put us to the test! We won’t have our full range of products, but we will have some of the sweetest treats imaginable for you to enjoy. Hope to see you here!”
“I have always wanted a little bake shop and Stittsville’s perfect… Everyone we’ve met in the last three years here are so friendly, and so nice. It’s a nice place to start building down the main street…”
In just a few days, the sweet smells of freshly baked bread, cookies and cakes will waft out of The Sweet Room Bakery Boutique on Stittsville Main Street. Wyldwood resident Renee Saunders is nearly finished setting up the shop, located in thesame plaza as the Main Street Pub, and hopes to have it open by the end of the week, pending some last minute setup and approvals. We talked with her just before Christmas about what she’s cooking up. All photos by Barry Gray.
STITTSVILLECENTRAL.CA: Can you tell us about your background in baking?
RENEE SAUNDERS: My husband is in the military and (originally) I was in financial management. When we had my son we were then in New Brunswick and I wanted to stay home with him. I used to bake for the neighbours, and then I started getting people knocking on my door for cakes, and I did that as a side business.
Then we got posted to Petawawa and I had really thought about opening a bakery because I had a lot of customers who came to my door just through word of mouth. I had saved up and went to school at Le Cordon Bleu in 2011 and I wanted to open a bakery in Petawawa, and then my husband got posted to Ottawa.
We have a house here in Stittsville and I’ve worked at quite a few places. The longest I worked was at Swiss Pastries at their warehouse out on Star Top Road, where all of their pastries and cakes are made. We would do all of the work and it would be shipped out to each of the locations every day.
After working at so many places, some of them great, some of them not so great, a lot of time when you’re working at these places you’re going in at the bottom and you realize it’s going to be years before you can do the things that you get joy from.
SC: What is it about Stittsville that makes it a good spot for your business?
RS: I have always wanted a little bake shop and Stittsville’s perfect. It’s a nice location, it’s central, there’s a rink, everybody knows where it is It’s really close to my house too. I live right right in Wyldwood.
We love the community. There’s little shops along Main Street that are starting to pop up that are great and I love that kind of feel about it. The location is kind of a bridge where everyone goes from the malls in Stittsville to the other end. It’s like a catch in between the two. A lot of people here I’ve already done birthday cakes and celebration cakes for so they already know my work and they’re excited about it.
We would like to stay in this location. This is my husband’s last location, so I know we’re not going to have to pack up and leave. So that’s a nice incentive too. It’s a great community. I love the pople here, my son goes to Sacred Heart. Everyone we’ve met in the last three years here are so friendly, and so nice. it’s a nice place to start building down the main street.
SC: What can people expect when they step inside the shop? The sights, the smells?
RS: What we’d like to have is a nice friendly atmosphere that’s welcoming, and the smells will be really good because everything is baked in house, baked from scratch daily. It will have that fresh, great smell of a bakery every morning.
Originally I wasn’t going to do bread but I’ve had so many requests from people for bread. People will knock on the door while we’re building and say “please tell me you’re baking bread”. So I’ve changed the design of my kitchen so we can make bread.
It’s small and it’s cozy. I’ll have four small tables so if they want to have a bit there they can, or pick something up to go.
We’ll carry some of the more French things like the macaron cookies, and regular cookies. On the weekends we plan to do croissants and danishes. Every day we’ll have scones and brownies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, breads, cupcakes in designer flavours. There will be cakes available every day, little pies, little tarts – a serving for one or two, up to larger ones.
In certain times of the year there’ll be cheesecakes added. We’ll have things that we make in-shop that you can purchase like caramel sauce, jams and jellies. We will also add in chocolates because I love making chocolate as well – truffles and that kind of thing. Maybe not when we start off right away, but that’s our plan to get all those things in there.
The Sweet Room Bakery Boutique is at 1408 Stittsville Main Street.
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