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Friends provide Paris with baked goods

Community ProfileFriends provide Paris with baked goods

Kelly Dawson and Lisa Larocque first met two and a half years ago at Our Kitchen Brantford (OKB), a 24-hour access commercial kitchen for chefs, small businesses and entrepreneurs, while running their own separate business, Flour Power Bakery and Lisa’s Cornwall Kitchen.

The two have since teamed up to bring Paris’ Wincey Mills a taste of their talent with MacButter’s Bake House.

Dawson and Larocque bring a unique twist to their vendor stall as Dawson specializes in sweet baked goods while Larocque takes on savory baked goods.

“We have collaborated before, I actually make Lisa’s pastry for her savory pies,” said Dawson. “We work very well together because we are like-minded people and we just really trust each other,” said Dawson. “So, we’ve been looking for our own space to sell our products alongside each other and when we saw that Wincey Mills had a vendor opening, we decided to combine. Lisa is known for her mac and cheese and I make butter tarts so that’s how we became MacButters.”

The two friends have both been baking separately for various time periods as they pursued their own separate careers, Dawson working in veterinary medicine and Larocque working in the automotive industry.

When Dawson decided to leave her high-stress job, she pursued education at Conestoga College for its baking and pastry arts program and intended to become a Red Seal pastry chef. After all her hard work, she graduated during the pandemic but struggled to find a place that was hiring. 

Soon she started baking in her home kitchen for friends and family before finding Our Kitchen Brantford (OKB) and starting her own small business. Dawson’s bakery quickly grew and she soon signed contracts to provide other businesses with weekly baked goods. 

Larocque moved to Brantford several years ago and when she retired from her job as a trader, marketer and consultant, she didn’t want to have to rebuild and hustle for new contracts in the city’s already established automotive industry. 

She decided if she was going to start over again, she would do something she really loved and when the pandemic came along, Larocque discovered OKB.

“I started doing a little bit of meals to-go and lunch, and then it sort of expanded and I really picked up on the meals to-go because that’s what the community needed,” she said. “The OKB community was such a great stepping stone for what you want to do, so for us to get to this point, I think it’s fabulous because it wasn’t my vision. I didn’t really know what my vision was because I was just having fun creating and now I get to do this. I started small and then built this little network and got to be adventurous.”

While the two continue their work as separate businesses, having a spot in the Wincey Mills market hall allows them to proudly sell their goods alongside each other. The two are spending the first few weeks meeting people, creating connections and establishing themselves as the face of the bakery but soon hope to hand the vendor stall over to staff so they can come and go when needed. 

When it comes to the menu, Dawson specializes in butter tarts, bread, chocolate chip cookies, cake pops, patties and more while Laroque brings her mac and cheese, chili, buffalo chicken dip, and savory pies.

The two are grateful for this new community and the abundance of support they received.

“It makes us so happy when people come back and say ‘that was so good,’ and it brings us so much joy,” said Dawson. “We’ve had so much support, it’s unbelievable. There’s support from the customers and from the vendors here in Wincey Mills and everyone here is so lovely and kind. The Our Kitchen family has also given us just so much support and they’ve come to visit us with flowers and to say hi. It’s all been a huge group effort and we’re just so thankful to the small business community in general and the local vendors for being so welcoming. We love that support because we’re that type of people too,” said Dawson. “We support everyone and we’re happy for everyone and we want them to be successful.

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