Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Welcome to the retro neighbourhood - Bean and Baker Malt Shop!

Toronto's revival of the soda fountain malt shop.... 

...is all thanks to the husband and wife team, Liezel and Brennan Anderson!

I was treated to a super sneak peak and a chance to chat with this lovely couple before they really got down to the grind of the grand opening.

It took all my might to concentrate on the business as the decor was spot on! Red vinyl, steel stripping, boomerang design topped tables....all of it sets you right back to a place you want to be. The nostalgia is instant! This is the feeling Liezel and Brennan want to invoke to those young and old. Bring back an old memory or help start a new one.

Bean and Baker Malt Shop offers classic sodas (using the best parts of old recipes but using today's all natural ingredients), ice cream (ed's real scoop), coffee, savoury pies (Wisey's) and handcrafted desserts and pastries (Liezel's is a pastry chef!).  They want to provide good food and drinks with quality all natural ingredients. Showcasing it all in the retro-era malt shop experience.

They have set them selves a huge task - "we are trying to make everything home made". (Um wow) "if people want to know what is in it - we know what is in it". I watched part of the process which included the simplicity of sugar and zest to make lemon/lime soda syrup.

Served up by retro outfitted Soda Jerks, with flavours ranging from Root ‘n Cola, Gramp’s Ginger, Real Orange, and Hibiscus.  It features an open-concept kitchen and Soda Jerks behind the counter complete with a bow-tie and a smile. 

I asked the couple why they wanted to open a malt shop and bakery and the answer was simple "we want to be our own bosses. we want to revive something that toronto use to have. all ages and demographics would love this. Everyone is excited about ice cream. The retro part is just fun. It holds a lot of good memories for al lot of people, or even if they don't have memories from that era it still instills a feeling of nostalgia and a slower pace of life where we are not all plugged in. A place where you can engage with the person you are here with." Their slogan "everyone is a kid at the soda shop" allows them room to take things to seriously and they hope their customers will feel the same way when they walk through their doors."

Location? It couldn't be more perfect then to be beside a park! "We wanted to be part of the community and welcome everybody. This park needed a place like this all year round the summer is easy but the tobogganers need hot chocolate too. We searched for a year for the right place." They know the neighbourhood, having grown up nearby and gone to school around the corner. "If we decide to have kids we know what it in this neighbourhood. This is a life plan, not just a business plan"

The Grand Opening - June 2nd
326 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON

Instagram: @beanandbakermaltshop
Twitter: @BandBMaltShopTO

“Everyone’s a kid at the Soda Shop!”

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