Standing in Ste. Anne’s Bakery, you would never know you were in a gluten-free space if the cheerful staff hadn’t just told you – beaming with pride. Whether popping by during your visit or on the way back home, this cozy bakery and café features a wide selection of cookies, cakes, frozen desserts, breads, jams, chocolates and fruit butters made from products found on the Ste. Anne’s property.
David and Mariela have been creating products in the bakery since it’s inception.
They originally came to Ste. Anne’s on a culinary scholarship from Mexico. They’ve been helping to grow the business ever since. What started as a few loaves of bread a day for the spa and dining room, has turned into a unique business that ships products daily to stores across Ontario.
“I like seeing people’s reactions when they try the bread – the tarts – and then hearing that there’s no gluten in them,” says Mariela.
“It’s a science, getting things right without gluten. They call me a mad scientist at work.”
Mariela and David bake a dozen varieties of bread daily. They also have a line of chocolate products, granola, and delicious empanadas made with estate raised beef. New this year, they also have their own line of vegan ice cream. It comes in flavours like raspberry orange, pure chocolate and strawberry rhubarb – with rhubarb grown in the Ste. Anne’s garden.
“I love the chocolate, I’m a chocolate guy, but the rhubarb is the guests’ favourite. They like hearing about where it came from and that it’s a local story,” says David. Guests are encouraged to stock up on snacks and explore the spa grounds. There are sensory gardens, walking trails and a working flower farm on the property, waiting to be explored.
The very popular Ste. Anne’s Granola made with nuts, seeds and Ontario honey. It’s so popular, it now gets shipped across Ontario.
Meanwhile, at the award-winning spa, the gardeners are working on a very special project to complement the bakery products.
They’re growing a collection of edible herbs and flowers for use in their special line of spa products – everything from lemongrass to calendula flowers to seabuckthorn berries. It’s all grown organically, dried and even distilled on the premises before being bottled for use in therapies and experiences at the spa. Guests can also purchase some of these unique concoctions at the shop.
“Sometimes, we get to experiment with their stuff too,” says Mariela. “I like lavender and apples. They are growing apples now too!”
The whole team at Ste. Anne’s works daily to create new ways for guests to experience their special part of Ontario. Now, thanks to Mariela, David and the apothecary team, you can take a little piece of it home with you.
Ste. Anne’s Bakery is located at 252 Academy Hill Road in Grafton, Ontario.
They’re open 8AM – 7PM, daily.