Contributed by Duncan Fremlin, Broker , RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd., www.morethanahome.ca
In my years as a Realtor in downtown neighbourhoods like Cabbagetown (2017 will be my 30th), I’ve had many opportunities to sit with buyers and listen to them dream about their perfect home. Before talking about the number of bedrooms they need, they often begin with their desire to live within walking distance of the simple pleasures of life, like a good independent coffee house. In Cabbagetown, the culinary destination is often Tasso Baking, a unique business at 540 Parliament Street. It’s a sole proprietorship with no employees, owned and operated by Mike and Olyana Tasso.
I say unique because it defies the traditional business model and does so very successfully. Tasso Bakery is only open Friday to Sunday, 8:30 am until they run out! I know it’s successful because on a weekend morning when I drop in to buy croissants, there’s pretty much always a lineup.
My wife Karen and I have tried croissants from a lot of bakeries over the years and we’ve never tasted anything as exquisite as the Tasso croissant. I asked Mike what makes it so special: “Use good ingredients (local if available), use as few ingredients as possible. Our method of making croissants requires a 3-day process, meaning the croissants served on Friday begin on Wednesday. We make all of our fillings (almond frangipane, apple sauce, compotes etc.) from scratch”. He left out another vital part of this process. Their web page (tassobaking.com) reads “Handmade croissants, baked in small batches and served fresh from the oven”. “No day-olds” said Mike.
But Mike, I asked. Only three days a week until you run out? What the hell?
“Well” said Mike. It just made more sense to “focus on making as many pastries as possible for our busiest days. By operating this way, we can guarantee our customers a unique experience. No other place will serve a croissant with the same freshness, flavour or texture.”
You can say that again! And if you’re a member of the pleasure-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, nut-free or egg-free crowd, these oven fresh treasures are not for you. As for Mike and Olyana’s coffee, the same attention to detail is evident in every delicious cup.
Check out the Tasso Bakery Instagram and Twitter accounts on their web page. Or better still, get in line with the rest of us.