Kim Gans, the owner of Sweet Flour Bake Shop, is not from around here. We don’t just mean that she’s from Cleveland (she is); we mean she’s from a wonderland where cookies defy the laws of physics and take just two minutes to reach a state of gooey goodness. Gans brought her desserts to Bloor West Village in the spring when she opened Sweet Flour Bake Shop, a café-style bakery where fresh cookies are made to order. Customers pick from over 20 mix-ins (sprinkles, figs, mini-pretzels, etc.) and from three fast-cooking doughs (peanut butter, plain, oatmeal). Wait two minutes, and then the cookie ($2.50) is laid on the “frost top,” which instantly takes the piping-hot treat down to an edible temperature.
Also on offer are cookie sandwiches ($2.25)—two thin, crisp cookies stuck together with a dollop of sweet spread—and a wide selection of pre-made cookies bearing such cheeky names as the Daily Grind (chocolate-cappuccino toffee). Or skip the formalities and go with a straight-up shot of cookie dough (75 cents). The make-your-own format is attracting everyone from purists (who add only chocolate chips) to the guy who tried to make the Epic Cookie: two custom cookies, three ingredients each, plus a spread in between, dough on the side and a milk chaser.
Gans’s background is in product development at General Mills (having made cookies her business, she gets to say things like “ice cream is a competitor”), and her professional cred gives Sweet Flour polish. The place just opened in the spring, but people coming in off the street assume Sweet Flour is a franchise because of its effortless finesse. This is not a business headed to the nearest mall; Gans is determined to keep Sweet Flour community-centric.
Peak hours at Sweet Flour are the after-school and mid-stroll rushes (2-5 p.m.), but good coffee (I Deal), free Wi-Fi, stroller-friendly table spacing and a breakfast menu (steel-cut oatmeal $3.75, yogurt parfait $5) are solid reasons to spend all day in a cookie shop.
Sweet Flour Bake Shop, 2352 Bloor St. W. (at Windermere St.), 416-763-2253, sweetflour.ca.