Category Bakery

Holiday Traditions: Crawford’s Village Bakery

UPDATE: Crawford’s Village Bakery is closing November 30, 2014. 

My first memory of Crawford’s Village Bakery is of the sweet fragrance of their still warm pies as we stocked them in the Cheeseboard Café’s cooler when I waitressed there back in the 80s. Alison made frequent trips to Crawford’s to keep up with the demand for their delicious, freshly baked fruit pies, like Strawberry Rhubarb and Cherry. I fondly recall the elderly lady who routinely struggled to get to the Cheeseboard just for a prized piece of Blueberry Pie.


My favourite memories of Crawford’s are the trips my Mom, sisters, and I used to make there every holiday. At Thanksgiving we’d pick up our order of Pumpkin and Dutch Apple Pie (my favourite!).


At Christmas we ordered Butter Pecan Pie and our Easter order often included Quiche.


Mom and I loved to browse the shelves for gourmet goodies to embellish our feast,


stuff in Christmas stockings, or hand out as charming hostess gifts.


(Top photo) Suc’ Aromatisé flavoured sugars from France – can’t wait to try the Violet. (Middle photo) Martin Pouret French mustard, Safinter Smoked Spanish Paprika, and Terre Exotique Flower Salad from France. (Bottom photo) Guelph, Ontario’s Kitchen Connaisseur.

Our cookie trays included Aunt Maud’s Christmas Fruitcake. Lucy Maud Montgomery was related to the Crawfords. Elaine and Kelly Crawford published Aunt Maud’s Recipe Book from Lucy’s original recipes, which were passed down through the family. You can buy it at Crawford’s.


Mom always placed a festively-shaped, handcrafted Chocolate Sucker on each grandchild’s plate.


We often picked up little treats for ourselves to enjoy later like German Chocolate Brownies. In those days, we’d linger over a homemade lunch that Crawford’s used to serve in the adjoining room.


(Photo) German Chocolate Squares, Butter Tart Squares, and Date Squares.

I still adore going to Crawford’s for pies and gourmet goodies, cherishing the traditions that Mom and I started. Crawford’s was founded in 1967 by Bob and Elaine Crawford who still run it today, with the help of their daughter, Kelly, and friendly staff.


(Top photo) Some of the happy bakery staff: Angela, Katie, and Jennifer. (Middle photo) Andrea, the talented jam and jelly maker. (Bottom photo) Corry, one of the lovely chocolate ladies.

Throughout all of these years, the quality of Crawford’s products has remained consistently excellent. We have never been disappointed.

The classic fruit pies (Blueberry, Cherry, Dutch Apple, Strawberry Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb Cream Cheese, and Butter Pecan) are usually regularly available throughout the year. Summer seasonal pies (available on certain weekends) include such delights as Luscious Lime, Lemon Chiffon, Double Lemon, Lemon Sour Cream, and Blueberry Lemon Crumble.


Luscious Lime Pie

Apple is available all year until summer’s celebration of Peach. Raisin Pie is available by special order. Butterscotch Pie is baked about six times a year, usually around a holiday or long weekend. Pumpkin and Crimsonberry are available weekly except during the summer.


Crimsonberry Pie

Lemon Meringue is available on weekends only from fall to spring. Mince and Mincekin pies (pumpkin with a bottom layer of mince) are the joys of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Crawford’s usually features lighter pies at Easter to celebrate spring. Stay tuned to Crawford’s Facebook page for pie schedule announcements. All pies are lovingly made from scratch with a perfect crust and delectable fillings. Crawford’s pies remain the gold standard for pies in our region and are worth every calorie!

The shelves are brimming with artisanal treats and fine imported products like olives, oils, vinegars, pastas, and sauces.


Local products include The Garlic Box, Credit Valley Gold Honey, and Temple’s Sugar Bush Maple Syrup.


And of course, Crawford’s homemade Jams, Jellies, and Sauces. Oh, I think I’ll make my Dad’s day and pick him up a jar of Crawford’s Chili Sauce and a Meat Pie.


I bought my son an old-fashioned Chocolate Cake from Crawford’s for his birthday this year and it was really good. Crawford’s handmade and dipped Chocolate Truffles are far too tempting to resist!


Leave enough time to hunt for a vintage treasure to buy amongst the antiques that have replaced the little café. Check out the Lucy Maud Montgomery Museum in the same space.


Businesses like this, run by families like the Crawfords, are an absolute pleasure to write about. Thank you to the Crawford family for years of continued excellent service.

Call ahead to reserve your favourite pie or to place a chocolate order.

Open 7 days a week:
Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sundays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Open Thanksgiving Day, Easter Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve.
Crawford’s Village Bakery & Distinctive Foods
2809 Bovaird Drive West
Brampton, ON (Norval)
Telephone: 905-451-0347

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Celebration Tips: Desserts by Michelle & Soft Touch Video

Oh, does Olive have a couple of great tips for you to make your next milestone celebration extra special without breaking the budget! My father didn’t want a fuss over his birthday, so we gathered family around him and ordered Chinese take outs. But how can you pay tribute to 85 years of a life well-lived without doing something extraordinary?

Tip #1: Streetsville’s Desserts by Michelle, a personalized catering and dessert service for the GTA West area, is a great source for well-priced, delicious cakes. With over 20 varieties of cakes, tortes, tarts, and individual desserts to choose from, you will find something to suit every occasion.

My friends have been raving about Michelle’s wonderful desserts for years. The Éclairs, they tell me, are amazing, and so is the Pavlova – crunchy and sweet with gorgeous berries all over it. Madeleine cookies are a staple.  Another favourite is the English Toffee Cake. Michelle wowed the guests at a friend’s birthday party when she served chocolate spoons with bacon as an hors d’oeuvre; they were really good! Click here to check out Michelle’s website and photo gallery.


I ordered a Black Forest Cake, my Dad’s favourite. Over the years, we have served him a variety of Black Forest cakes from other suppliers – all of which were, in my humble opinion, quite ho hum. Michelle’s version was absolutely lovely. Luxurious but light and fresh, using real ingredients; not overly sweet. Dark chocolate cake – so moist it was almost fudgy – was layered with a tasty red cherry filling and plenty of freshly whipped real cream. It was garnished with dark chocolate and the most divinely juicy, fresh, local dark cherries.


Oops, got a bit of dripping candle wax in the photo and had to hurry while holding the hungry troops at bay.

It was the best Black Forest Cake I have ever tasted this side of the Black Forest (I did eat one in Germany once). Everyone loved it. It was delivered right to our door in a white box tied with a pretty orange ribbon. For a very reasonable price, we each enjoyed a generous piece and had plenty of leftovers. Michelle is my go-to-girl for celebration cakes (especially Black Forest!) from this point on.

What do you give the person who has everything? Consider a beautiful DVD slideshow featuring photos and video of life’s most memorable moments. Let your pictures and video tell his, her, or their unique story and it will last forever. And here comes Tip #2: Mississauga’s Mike Cederberg, owner and founder of Soft Touch Video, does a fabulous job of converting your photos, film, and video memories to DVD to preserve them, while bringing them to life in a moving and professional presentation – and his prices are fantastic!

Mike has created two DVDs for our family and a number for friends and all turned out great. They are the perfect way to mark a milestone celebration (birthday, anniversary, Bar Mitzvah, graduation), journal a special vacation, or create a lasting memorial tribute of a loved one.

I asked our family to record personal messages for my Dad on video (what he means to us, how he inspired us, or a favourite memory of time spent together, etc.). Mike compiled them, interspersed video with family photos, added creative visual effects and music, and burned a DVD copy for each of us. We played the DVD at the party. The surprise messages from family residing across the continent and overseas who we don’t get to see often were particularly moving. It touched us all and left my Dad, though emotional, beaming from ear to ear. I am so glad we did this for my Dad.

Be sure to click on this link and watch the beautiful slideshow Mike did as a loving tribute to his Mom.

And here is a link to the slideshow Mike created of a trip he and his wife, Mona, took in 1989.

So, keep these two tips tucked away for the next time your family celebrates a milestone.

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Day Tripping: The Glen Oven Café in Glen Williams

I have a favourite little spot I like to wander off to come summertime. I didn’t even know it existed until my friends brought me there one happy afternoon. Glen Williams is a peaceful little hamlet hidden amongst the trees of the meandering Credit River Valley, in the outskirts of Georgetown. The tree-lined street is dotted with just a handful of heritage buildings and homes. It is so quiet you can hear the crickets chirping.


Walk onto the porch of the Glen Oven Café and the regulars give you a nod as if to agree “yep, there is something so serene about this place”. Feel welcome in a modest but charming interior filled with vintage fine china tea cups, little British flags, a few tables, a couple of arm chairs, and a little wood stove.


Order at the counter. Choose from quiche, salad, soup, or sandwiches – all lovingly made from scratch (even the bread) with quality, wholesome ingredients. Everything I have tried has been delicious. My favourite is the Roasted Veggie sandwich: sweet potato, parsnip, red peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and red onion all roasted until tender and slightly caramelized then piled on billowing homemade bread spread with creamy chèvre.


Buy a loaf of bread to take home. This is the home of the Hearty Seed Bread, my son’s favourite flax seed bread; I have to hide it or he will polish off the whole loaf in one day. My friend loves the Whole Wheat Muesli Bread, a breakfast bread with raisins, cranberries, walnuts, and sunflower seeds. Don’t even try to resist the baking displayed in the counter – it is definitely worth giving into. I love the Lemon Squares the most: rich, buttery shortbread crust covered with a luscious layer of tart lemon filling.

Order tea: a pot and a delightful vintage tea cup will arrive at your table with the rest of your order.


Eat inside or better yet, relax in the shade of the big trees on the outdoor porch. Leaves dancing in the gentle breeze on a warm, sunny day – it just feels so summery, so carefree.


Allow enough time to poke in the antique book shop (Reeve & Clarke Antiquarian), marvel at the glassblowing (Glen Williams Glass), and shop for one-of-a-kind art by Canadian artists (Williams Mill Visual Art Centre), or get lost in booth after booth of vintage treasures at the Beaumont Mill Antiques & Collectibles Market. A stroll beside the tranquil Credit River is always good for the soul (Glen Williams Park).

The Glen Oven Café
520 Main Street
Glen Williams, ON L7G 3S8
Telephone: 905-873-0940


The Glen Oven Café has a second location in historic downtown Georgetown, The Glen Oven Tea Room. It offers lunch and afternoon tea. Catering available.

The Glen Oven Tea Room
98 Main St S,
Georgetown, ON L7G 3E4
Telephone: 289-891-8833

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Homemade Cookies Delivered To Your Door: Bridget’s Bicycle Bakery

Have a hankering for some freshly baked, homemade cookies? No problem if you live in Port Credit, thanks to the drive of Bridget Leon, a self-professed foodie and first year University of Guelph Food & Nutrition student. Bridget and her siblings (Madeline, Mary Frances, and Justin) are building up their own business from scratch. Their tools of the trade? Mom’s signature oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe, their bicycles, and some creative business savvy.


A simple phone call or e-mail order is all it takes to have a batch of freshly baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies arrive at your doorstep, delivered with a warm smile and a sense of nostalgia by Bridget or her siblings on their bicycles.


Baked by Bridget using her Mom Marg’s family-favourite recipe, these soft and chewy oatmeal cookies with hits of rich, dark chocolate and hints of coconut are seriously addictive. Marg’s recipe has always been the hit of the ‘hood. Neighbor Cobi Ladner confessed “The cookies are so amazing that I hide them if Marg sends them over to our house. We’ve been eating them at every school event, birthday, and neighbourhood party for years.  Everyone loves them and requests them.”


The presentation is beautiful: packaging is labeled with a charming old-fashioned bicycle sticker and tied with gorgeous Tiffany-blue ribbon. Order by the dozen and choose from one of three attractive packaging options. A handwritten bicycle-stamped card is included with Option 3.


Perfect to celebrate life’s milestones, cheer up life’s rainier days, surprise a special someone, or act as the secret weapon in a promposal. Beautifully packaged, baked-from-scratch goodness can be delivered to your door, when you want, in the Port Credit area seven days a week. Special arrangements and customer orders are possible. Amendments can be made to the ingredients listed on the website. Click here for ordering instructions and contact information.

Bridget’s Bicycle Bakery
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Georgetown Farmers’ Market: Olive It!

I adore Georgetown Farmers’ Market. It is a vibrant, bustling farmers’ market that runs right down the middle of scenic Main Street in historic downtown Georgetown, Ontario.


The market offers plenty of fresh, seasonal produce from some of my favourite local farmers, such as Allison’s Farm Market (who are literally located just down the road). I love everything from Allison’s; I am crazy about their corn, which they expect will be ready mid-July.


Andrews’ Scenic Acres, another one of my favourites, brings in their delicious produce from their farm in Halton Hills. The air around this booth was perfumed with the sweet fragrance of these juicy strawberries. Mmm, I could be happy with a baguette, a wedge of St. Andre’s cheese, a basket of cherries, and a shady spot to share at a river’s edge.


There is lots of really good baking, including butter tarts from Andrews’ Scenic Acres and fruit strudel from The Strudel Lady.


Even the Glen Oven Tea Room gets into the spirit and spills out onto the sidewalk with their scones, cookies, and artisanal bread. A friend told me their Whole Wheat Muesli – a breakfast bread with raisins, cranberries, walnuts, and sunflower seeds – is “sooo delicious”. My son loves their Hearty Seed bread so much, he polished off a loaf in one day (we do feed him regularly, I promise).


Georgetown Farmers’ Market is the only market west of Toronto where I can find Toronto-based Saha International Cuisine products (though they are available at a few stores in the region). Made following traditional recipes, Saha’s sauces and marinades are all-natural, additive-free, preservative-free, gluten-free, trans fat-free, and cholesterol free.


Mixed with a bit of yogurt their Shish Taouk marinade yields succulent, flavourful chicken (I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs). Thai Red Curry is a warm, fragrant base for a delicious chicken stir fry; simmer with some coconut milk for a little taste of heaven – Thai style.


Here’s another reason why I love Georgetown Farmers’ Market. There is a great little butcher shop, McMaster’s Meats & Deli, right beside the market on Main Street. Old fashioned butcher, friendly service, great range of fresh meats, deli meats (they cook their own preservative-free beef, turkey, pork, and ham), and gourmet products. Their Stuffed Chicken Breasts are wonderful.

McMasters Georgetown

And midway through the market, just a couple of steps down a side street, is the fabulous Mill Street Cheese Market. Read why I love this pretty little fromagerie here. Be sure to stroll in on market day for samples of their wonderful products. Pick up some cheese and bread to go along with those cherries and you’ve got the makings of a great picnic.


Georgetown Farmers’ Market

Every Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., June 7th to October 18th, 2014.

Located on Main Street South between Church Street and James Street, in historic downtown Georgetown (Halton Hills). Please note: the East lane is empty because the Fire Department requires a Fire Lane for access to buildings and quick response routes. DO NOT BLOCK the lane for any reason or amount of time. You can be ticketed.

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