The “Meet your Kingston&Co” blog series tells the story of Kingston Road Village through the eyes of local shopkeepers.
Located at the corner of Kingston Road and Pickering Street, Beaches Bakeshop & Cafe is a light, airy cafe owned and operated by Anna Tvinnereim. A true food lover, Anna studied at Uppsala University in Sweden before moving to the US and eventually setting in Toronto. In 2008, Anna opened what would eventually become the Beaches Bakeshop and Cafe, bring her love of food and nutrition to the community with cooking classes for kids.
This what not a small decision, and as the classes became more and more popular, Anna decided to expand the business into what it is today. To top off the journey so far, Anna took full ownership of the cafe this past March. It helps that she lives right around the corner.
It wasn’t just a big decision to open a new business, choosing the right neighbourhood played a big factor. Kingston Road Village is home to many of us, but Anna chose the area because it was personable, friendly and welcoming. As the years have gone by, the area has become busier and more vibrant, but maintains the small town feeling that allows us to relax into our roots. As I was sitting with Anna, she was able to point out many of her regulars, explaining that Kingston Road Village offers a definite community of regular customers and people who stand behind local businesses.
As the area is known for specific landmarks, Anna stays true to the area and tells me one of her favourite things about the neighbourhood is the proximity to the beach. With a ten minute walk through the Glen Stewart Ravine, Anna tells me how she feels less claustrophobic living where she is. Having the open air and greenery helps the area feel more relaxed than other areas in the city, and it doesn’t hurt that the beach makes Kingston Road Village a destination itself. Taking advantage of the outdoors, Anna is a frequent runner and cyclist along our beloved boardwalk, exploring the Leslie Spit, the Waterfront Trail and Rosetta McClain Park.
Something I have noticed speaking with different business owners is they all tend to support each other. Like many, Anna tries to stay in the area and shop local as much as she can. Some of her favourite shops include Courage Foods, Omega Health and Fitness, Trinity Gallery, Close to the Bone and the Beech Tree (which was recently given 4 stars!).
So when you walk into this Swedish Cafe, the environment is friendly and relaxed, blending perfectly into the atmosphere of the village. Anna tries to make everyone comfortable, like they are guests in her home. As the Beaches Bakeshop and Cafe is Toronto’s only Swedish cafe, the food tends to cater towards Toronto’s Scandinavian community, but gives Toronto as a whole a local place to eat healthy and well-balanced foods, whether it is a quinoa salad or a treat.
Anna believes in using real food, based on seasonal choices and local availability. Some things she does import from Sweden, and bakes all of her baked goods with a Scandinavian flare. Everything is made on the premise from scratch with no shortcuts. One of her top products, her famous quiche, can use a whole carton of eggs!
As the area has given Anna some successful years, she has been thinking of adding new products, such as fresh juices and smoothies. In my mind, a very welcomed addition.
So if you have a chance to stop in at Anna’s cafe, make sure to try her Swedish Cinnamon Buns or her Bacon Broccoli Quinoa Salad. Just my suggestions.
Beaches Bakeshop and Cafe is at 900 Kingston Road, and is open Mondays from 9 am to 2 pm, Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 5pm. They are closed Sundays.