Barrie native Jake Johnson launched his business during the lockdown but now hopes to open a physical location sometime in 2023.
What started as a hobby during the pandemic turned into a thriving online baking business for Jacob Johnson, a Minesing resident who now has more than seven years of experience in the food industry.
“I started baking for family and friends, and after a couple of months I noticed that people were really responding to what I was making,” says Johnson, owner of home bakery Jake’s Bakes.
As the breath continued to pour in about her handmade and homemade baked goods, Johnson says she felt it was time to take the next step and start her own business.
Jake’s Bakes started in April 2021 and has been growing ever since, to the point where Johnson says he has already begun contemplating moving to a physical location.
“Hopefully I can grow to a storefront location sometime in 2023,” he says.
On the bakery’s website, customers can purchase items made from scratch and baked fresh every morning, such as shortbread tarts, chocolate caramel cookies, tarts, and more.
“My personal favorite right now is our Pumpkin Spice Butter Pie, which has a homemade pumpkin pie filling underneath a gooey butter pie and topped with cinnamon sugar,” Johnson describes.
Johnson noted that popular orders can vary seasonally as the menu is updated regularly. For example, he says, s’mores and strawberry rhubarb shortcakes are big favorites in the summer.
“We are very excited for the holiday season as more items will be added,” he adds.
The Jake’s Bakes menu features Johnson’s most unique recipes, which in part bring back memories of a family of talented bakers, who he says sparked most of his passion for baking.
“Butter tarts and pastries have always been staples in my family, so most of my menu revolves around pastries,” she says.
The recipes are also inspired by insights from Johnson’s past culinary experiences at places like cake shops in Toronto, fine-dining restaurants in Victoria, BC, and tree-planting camps in Alberta.
“All of these experiences have given me the skills and confidence to build my own business,” he says.
Born and raised in Barrie, Johnson moved his family to Minesing seven years ago. He began learning to cook in high school, at Innisdale Secondary through his hospitality program, as well as cooking at many restaurants in the Barrie area.
After high school, Johnson honed his culinary skills at George Brown College and continued to cook at different restaurants in Ontario and British Columbia.
Johnson cites the support of the community in Barrie as an important factor in the growth of the business, particularly during the shutdown, and a reason to continue with the business.
“Clearly, the people of Barrie love supporting local businesses and it feels great knowing that I can continue to provide quality products in a market with so many other passionate entrepreneurs,” he says.
Jake’s Bakes operates via online pre-orders only for pickup at their Minesing location. Their produce is also available every Saturday at the Barrie Farmers’ Market in City Hall and at other Christmas markets in the Barrie and Springwater Township area.
For more information, visit www.jakesbakes.ca.