Erin Ireland’s ‘To Live For’ Bakery and Cafe Now Open on Nanaimo Street – Scout Magazine

Erin Ireland’s ‘To Live For’ bakery and cafe is now ‘softly open’ at 1508 Nanaimo Street, with plans to officially open regular hours this weekend.

As we reported in June, the 1,800-square-foot space and 18-seat cafe has a generously sized production bakery that will allow Ireland to further develop its brand (the To Live For line is currently available in 150 cafes and stores across the Lower Continent, and the demand continues to grow).

I took a look inside the finished coffee yesterday afternoon. Though cramped, the bright room still feels spacious, with window seats, a serving area at the counter, alcoves, a children’s table, and open views of the kitchen. As captivating as a window into the activity of a busy kitchen, it’s no match for the cleverness of appetite-inducing display cases packed with baked goods (think Ireland’s famous banana bread, lemon loafs, and delicious double chocolate crackers, plus a full-on bread and pastry program including sourdough bread, croissants, pain au chocolate, and cinnamon buns developed with French-trained pastry chef/GM Thibault Champel) . There will also be a rotating assortment of cookies and bars, dairy-free soft serve ice cream, 4″, 6″, 8″, and 12″ decorated cakes, and a top-notch coffee program (dirty chai made with Counterpart Coffee is already a personal favourite).

You can have a breakfast sandwich, some granola or overnight oats starting at 7am. To Live For will be open from 7 am to 5 pm, seven days a week.

Congratulations to everyone on the opening team, including:
Erin Ireland (owner)
Darren Yada (Head of Business Development)
Thibault Champelx (Executive Chef)
Fabrizio Busso (GM)
Andrea Polz (assistant general manager and lead cake decorator)
And a qualified team of kitchen staff (give them a thumbs up through the viewing window when you visit)

If this is your first time reading it, here’s what I wrote about the new announcement earlier this summer, plus a bunch of photos from yesterday:

Going from selling an established line of baked goods in a commissary kitchen to opening a traditional cafe takes guts, even when you’re Erin Ireland and can look back on a twelve-year track record of meeting the demands of a loyal customer. Next to calm down. Which is why it was particularly inspiring to meet the creator of ‘Vancouver’s favorite banana bread and advocate of the plant-based lifestyle’ at what will soon be the first To Live For Cafe location to see her take the proverbial ‘leap’. .

As we enter the space for a quick look, Ireland admits, “I’m a little terrified… I’m still in shock that it’s actually happening (I never imagined owning a bakery growing up), but also very excited… I think I’ll be living in the kitchen for the first year. I’m excited to meet the customers and be very hands-on.”

Right now, the voluminous space is filled with lots of natural light and very little else, but the concrete-on-concrete aesthetic seen in the images below is only temporary. Construction, which will include a production kitchen, counter space, display cases and seating for 18, will begin within the next week or two…

[Once open], and taking a cue from his friends at The Juice Truck, Ireland also hopes to eventually host pop-ups with other plant-based entrepreneurs and use his Nanaimo Street square footage for fun, community-oriented events. “We really want this to be a hub within the community,” she says.

“I’ve always dreamed of a bakery place that’s a little off the beaten path. I never imagined being on a bustling street. I love that we are in a somewhat quiet neighborhood at the base of a small residential building, not far from The Drive. I also love that it’s close to 1st Ave. and that there’s plenty of easy parking so it’s easier for people from all over the Lower Mainland to come visit us.”

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