New bakery to be a natural fit for White Rock
A trip to White Rock’s waterfront is about to get a bit sweeter thanks to a new all-natural bakery-café and ice cream shop set to open March 16.
Taking over the location of Andy’s Gourmet Desserts & Ice Cream Café on Marine Drive, Spiritual Ingredients will be headed by fourth-generation pastry chef and owner Alex Bois-Bonifacio.
The eco-friendly and fair-trade bakery has been a dream of Bois-Bonifacio’s, who studied ecological theology at the Vancouver School of Theology, completing three out of four years of a masters degree in divinity.
“It’s a big foundation to the business. It’s what supports my drive for the ecological conversation or what I like to call the ‘conservation conversation,’” the Steveston resident explained.
To that end, Bois-Bonifacio – who is five months pregnant – plans to donate $1 from the sale of each of her cupcakes to charities that correspond to the endangered animal depicted on the treat. The critters include burrowing owls, polar bears, orca whales and the leather-back turtle.
“We meticulously hand-pipe the faces and the funds go to the specific habitat and conservation of that animal,” she said. “It’s a great way to raise awareness and it’s a lot of fun.”
Joining Bois-Bonifacio will be award-winning pastry chef Patrice Burke, who was tapped for the position by chance when Bois-Bonifacio’s mother was scouring the Internet for the name of a Brazilian coffee company.
“She Googled ‘bakery’, ‘Brazil’ and up came Patrice’s story about winning gold at an international baking competition in Brazil,” Bois-Bonifacio said.
“We knew it was a long shot, but we contacted her to see if she had a job.”
Fortunately, Burke, who hails from Nova Scotia, took on the position and will be rounding out the duo’s skillset.
“She will fill in the areas I need and vice versa,” Bois-Bonifacio said.
And for those who shy away from indulging in pastries due to allergies, Bois-Bonifacio – who has allergies herself – offers nut-free options, as well as in-house gelato and sorbetto.
As the grand opening nears, Bois-Bonifacio said obstacles along the way have been worth it.
“I grew up playing varsity baseball – if you don’t put blood, sweat and tears in every game, you’re not playing hard enough. Same thing with a business, if you really want to be successful you have to put your whole self into it – your whole heart,” she said.
“We’re happy and excited to get started. It’s been a year-long struggle for both the baby side and the business side, and it’s a happy coincidence to have them both come together. We’ll happily jump both feet in.”