Name: Tori Vaccher of Tori's Bakeshop
Location: The Beach, Toronto
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years
To create the perfect blend of classy, clever and eco-conscious elements, sometimes you just have to do it yourself. That’s what baker and entrepreneur Tori Vaccher discovered the hard way when she set out to open her first organic bakery and café. Frustrated after time wasted teaming up with an interior designer who didn’t quite share her vision, Tori headed straight to NYC for a weekend of exploration.
Snapping photos of the Big Apple’s endlessly inspiring boutiques, restaurants, cafés and bakeries, Tori became determined to take charge of the project and make her design dreams a reality. Although the expedition yielded more ideas than she could possibly fit into what would become Toronto’s cutest natural upscale bakery, it solidified the approach that she knew was possible all along.
The result strikes a beautiful balance between Tori's sophisticated taste and trademark homemade vibe. Classic wainscoting, vintage-inspired wallpaper, and crisp white shelves lined with porcelain mason jars are mixed with industrial elements — a DIY pipe bar counter, reclaimed wood tabletops, large industrial whisk pendant lamps — all hand crafted by Tori and family from materials as high in quality as the ones used in her carefully prepared vegan recipes. Even the staff's designer hemp uniforms are intentionally styled with a "vintage general store" feel, adding another clever touch to the already delightful atmosphere.
In naming her shop, Tori chose to keep the focus on her delicious baked creations. While she doesn’t hide the fact that the bacon in the B.L.T. is made from hickory-smoked maple coconut, the ice cream cookie sandwiches don't contain an ounce of dairy, or that all of the packaging is biodegradable, she knows that the dedicated vegan contingent will find her with or without that label emblazoned on the awning. "I didn't want to scare away people who are unfamiliar with just how tasty treats that are free of animal ingredients, preservatives, refined sugars and unnecessary additives can be". The café/bakery also offers a decent sized selection of gluten-free options, and puts a creative spin on traditional goodies – Campfire Cornbread with Jalapeno Peppers, Chai Spiced Pear Muffins, and Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti, to name a few. Between the stylish décor and the thoughtful choices made to lessen its environmental impact, it’s pretty safe to say that Tori’s Bakeshop offers a lot more than just organic baking!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Lakeside modern industrial, with reclaimed natural elements.
Inspiration: NYC. Green spaces. Slow and patient lunches with tiny spoons.
Favorite Element: The reclaimed church windows connecting the kitchen and the cafe, the industrial Edison bulbs, the front door (which is original to the building), our bacon!
Biggest Challenge: Sacrificing baking space for relaxed seating, digging out the basement to install washrooms, and outgrowing ourselves too quickly.
What Customers Say: "What colour is your door??", "Where can I buy your lights?", "Is it alright if I take my shoes off?"
Biggest Embarrassment: Measuring once... more than once.
Proudest DIY: We tried to do as many things ourselves as possible. Top three: finishing the tables in my parents' backyard (which took 2 weeks start to finish), the steel rod kick bar and ledge bar (which we visited Home Depot to have re-cut multiple times), and the industrial whisk lights. But I can't take credit for making those babies — they were the work of my amazing father & brothers!
Biggest Indulgence: The wallpaper.
Best Advice: Sometimes, something that is "well-designed" may not be designed well for you. It's important to remember that it's your space, which also means that if an element doesn't work out how you thought it would, you can change it.
Dream Sources: My family. Not only are they supportive in general, but they are amazing craftspeople with skills I'm still discovering. We speak the same language, which is imperative when building a space from scratch and wanting it to look a specific way.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
- Front door - Benjamin Moore #566 Bunker Green in 632 (Aura Semi Gloss)
- Wainscoting - Ralph Lauren Orian Grey TH-14
- Walls - Benjamin Moore Classic Grey OC-23
- Cabinetry - Benjamin Moore Misty Grey OC-30
- Casing - Benjamin Moore Oxford White CC-30
- Wallpaper - Marimekko by Galerie 14152 Putkinotko
(Images: Justice Darragh)
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