The Kirkendall North community will lose one of its most notable members next month — unless a last-second buyer steps in to save it.
Cake and Loaf Bakery has been a dependable peddler of cakes, cookies and other treats at the corner of Dundurn Street and Homewood Avenue since August 2011 and is set to shut off its ovens for good as of Oct. 8.
“We decided to have one more holiday. Seasonal changes are always really special for us. Thanksgiving, being the next holiday, more or less fits that date for us,” says co-owner Nickey Miller.
Miller and co-owner Josie Rudderham say they made the tough decision to shut the doors after a lot of soul-searching.
“The challenge Cake and Loaf has maybe always faced is doing what’s right,” Rudderham says. And doing what is right, she continues, isn’t usually doing what is cheap.
Rudderham says the business has always been an advocate for a living wage, tried to use local ingredients from small family farms, and been supportive of the community.
“We’ve never really centred making a profit as the goal of the business and that’s had some repercussions.”
Back in July, Rudderham and Miller put the business up for sale, with the stipulation that they wanted to get the right ownership in place.
Miller says right out of the gate, a lot of people were curious about the opportunity.
“There was a lot of interest for the building, the business, people wanted to see what was going on. We haven’t found that perfect fit but I’m super optimistic that person is out there, because people want to see Cake and Loaf out there.”
“We are definitely still open to offers and offers on any component — the building, the brand. It’s a turnkey bakery in itself, so if Cake and Loaf is not the brand and if the person interested in the building has their own dream, this is the perfect incubator of that dream.”
The opportunity to be a part of the commnunity has been wonderful, the pair say, but it’s time.
Rudderham, who has been living out on the east coast since 2021, says they’ve been working on the business for 15 years and now they have other places they need to focus their attention.
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“I thought we’d be baking cookies, but I didn’t know we’d be advocating for living wage, or pushing industry standards or fighting sexual harassment in the industry. Those were all amazing bonuses and it came out of all the amazing people we were working with.”
“I think we thought it would be me and Nickey and two people working front of house for the next 50 years but it turned out very differently.”
While Rudderham is busy with work out on the east coast, Miller says she’s not really sure what the future holds for her.
“I’m still hopeful there is someone out there who wants to take over the reins of the business and I could be a mentor or stay on with the workers for a bit. Outside of that, I’m really unsure.”
Showing the friendship and camaraderie that led Cake and Loaf to be such a success, Rudderham says Miller is going to succeed in whatever she wants to do.
“Nickey has gained a lot of skill sets over the past 15 years. She’s a pretty accomplished carpenter as well as a digital illustrator and photographer — she took all of the pictures in our cookbook.”
The lifting up offers a keen reminder of what Cake and Loaf is and has been to the Hamilton community — and the hole it will leave when the doors close for a final time Oct. 8.
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