Kelowna-based vegan and gluten-free Jaide and Joel’s Bakery is starting over.
Residents in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country and Vernon may have had the delicious sweets in local grocery stores but as with many businesses, co-owners Jaide Hatfield and Joel Murga had to shut down for a couple of months once the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Hatfield said it was an upsetting time.
“We worked so hard for two years to get to the point we were at, then we were completely at zero again,” she said.
“Businesses were shutting down and we didn’t have enough special orders to keep us going so we just shut down. It was disheartening.”
But they didn’t let the closure get to them. Hatfield said because they were always busy baking and delivering their products, they never had the chance to sit down and work on what they want to get out of their business so when they shut down, she and Murga took the time to plan things out.
Murga said Hatfield came up with the idea to rebrand and start anew.
“The name change was something we wanted to do from the very beginning. We never planned to stick with Jaide and Joel’s Bakery,” Hatfield said.
Murga said it was a spur of the moment name when they needed something quick, so they’re excited to come out with a new name that they’ve put a lot of time and thought into.
It was also when COVID-19 first hit the province when the pair was signing the papers to lease the space at the corner of Leathead and Montgomery. They were supposed to sign the papers in March but as businesses were shutting down and orders were slowing down for them, they decided not to. In the end, the Hatfield and Murga signed the lease in time for Aug. 1 and have been renovating the space since then.
The pair said during their time in quarantine, they also talked about expanding their stores.
“A couple of years from now, we can have enough finances to open up a new location maybe down in Victoria,” Murga said.
“We really want to reach out to Vancouver stores and cafes… it’s been difficult to figure out how to get it down there, how to keep our stuff fresh because gluten-free food always dry out so quickly,” Hatfield said.
The storefront may still be under renovation and equipment still has to be moved in and hooked up, but Hatfield and Murga are back in the kitchen baking donuts, bread, bagels, cookies, and their signature desserts, working to prevent another shutdown.
In between baking and renovations, they also still deliver their baked goods throughout the Central Okanagan. It may be hectic, but the pair said it’s worth it. They hope to finish renovations in time for their planned opening in September.
For more information on what True North Bakehouse offers, visit their site.