Customer Experience at Cake Shop [General]

2012 Sep 29
Since this is as much commentary as review, I thought I would start a thread rather than a review. I might do a min review with highlights later and link to this.

A thumb down on a recent experience at the Cake Shop.

I needed to go to CAA on Friday and we have a family thing on Saturday partially for my Dad's Bday during this week so I wanted to take a sugar free cake so wanted to pay and reserve a cake for either my brother or sister to pick up on Sat on their way to the event.

Went into the Cake shop wanting to order a chocolate truffle sugar free cake if possible or reserve any type of Sugar free cake available on Sat. I was told by the girl in the front that the baker will not be in tomorrow and if he is he will be so loaded with birthday cake order that he could not do any sugar free cake and they need 4-7 days advance order for specific sugar free cake.

I then asked if I can reserve a sugar free cake for Sat. She went to the back and came back to say there are no sugar free cake on Saturday which I was very surprised about. They had a lone sugar free chocolate mousse cake on display but I did not really buy a nice cake and had it become a day old cake by the time it need to be eaten. I asked again and was assured they will not have any sugar free cake Sat since they had loads of birthday cake orders for Sat and supposedly the baker will not be in.

So I ended up buying that sugar free cake even though I was less than happy since I cannot be sure I can find a sugar free cake in Ottawa at short notice.

I called Sat lunch partially to check up and partially wanting to talk to the owner/manager. They did have a sugar free chcolate mousse cake today. I explained I came yesterday to try to reserve a sugar free cake for Sat and was told none will be available or I would not have bought a cake yesterday that now becomes a day old cake.

The older woman on the phone (I think the mother of the mother and daughter team that owns and runs the cake shop) was a bit argumentative but I guess I was too since I was a tad pissed off. She said the sugar free chocolate cake was in the freezer and she just defrosted it this morning and decorated it so they did have sugar free cake today. They apparently do a bunch of them in one shot and then pull one out at a time to defrost. When one sales, they pull out another one. So if they don't sell a chocolate mousse sugar free cake for a few days, the cake can be a few days old.

I asked why was I not told so when I asked yesterday, prompting me to buy a cake that earlier than I wanted. She indicated that those cakes are the same since they were baked and frozen the same day, just the one I bought was defrosted earlier (and possibly not even Friday) and the one today was defrosted only Sat. She claimed there are no difference!

She claimed there must be a language issue and I was mistaken with the reply that there were no sugar free cake Saturday. I replied after I was told I could not have the chocolate truffle cake, I asked about any sugar free cake on Sat and was told no. Then she said they were training new staff. I commented that they should better train their stuff to know the facts and there was not even a half hearted I am sorry, we would do better.

The only concession wass that if I am really unhappy, I could take the cake back and exchange for a newly defrosted cake, which despite being defrosted 1+ days apart is the same. Yeah I live about 20 mins away by car so that is a 1 hr round trip, not really an option on a busy day with errands and family event plus I am trying to finalize my trip to France for my Biz school reunion and a conference in Vegas all within the next couple of weeks.

Apparently their baker is a 70+ year old chinese guy that works only 3 or 4 days a week. It seems that they may freeze and/or keep their baked stuff for several days. Thus this may explain why some people commenting their baked goods are not fresh since they may not be fresh on a slow day.

Things I am concerned about:
1. Not being told something had been frozen then defrosted - although I suspected it from the frozen tasting mothers day cake we bought earlier in the year. For the same price, I may have preferred to buy regular versions at another bakery some of the time that is freshly made that day.
2. Staff that did not know what is happening and provide customer incorrect information.
3. Owner thinking there is no difference between fresh products and day old items. I may still choose to purchase the day old item but I would prefer it be my choice then being kept in the dark or given the wrong information.

I may not be a huge customer but we probably spend about $200-300 a year for different occasions involving our parents for sugar free stuff while we sometimes go to other bakeries for other special events.

I was a bit on the fence with some of hff comments about Cake Shop since some of it was kind of true but they were my source for sugar free cake and thought they were doing an okay job for the stuff I gett but this incident has swing things more to the negative side.

So if anyone knows of other bakeries that would do sugar free on order, please let me know.

2012 Sep 29
I have absolutely nothing to contribute except to say that selling frozen cakes as fresh is sleazy as hell.

And now, since no other restaurant or store seems to get Ottawa Foodies riled up as much as the Cake Shop does, I'm going to go make some popcorn.

2012 Sep 29
Okay we had the Cake Shop sugar free chocolate mousse cake after dinner tonight and what a sad disappointment.

My mom opened the box while I was getting something else and the 6 blueberries decorating the cake was wrinkled and old (I would not buy a box of blueberries if they looked like that) and one had a white dot / mold on it. My mom who is one of the sweetest and non confrotational person I know took it off the cake, saying that we should not eat them since they are not fresh and removed to mold with a paper napkin.

The cake was sliced and people started with a small slice each. Only half of the cake was eaten and no one asked for seconds since the cake was stale and the chocolate mousse and meh rather than rich, creamy and chocolaty. I really think the chocolate mousse cake suffered from the freezing and defrosting and I am not positive it was even defrosted Friday am since if it was, the person decorating the cake should be fired since it is disgraceful to use spoiled / old fruit to decorate a supposedly fresh bakery cake!!!

Sadly the Sugar Free chocolate mousse cake have gone downhill since we first started buying them at the greenbank location 2 or 3 years ago when Swiss Pastries recommended the Cake Shop to us when they stopped making sugar free cakes. From the look of some of the cakes they make now, the Cake Shop is more focused on look (i.e. nice decoration) then taste and quality.

The poor quality of the cake with the poor quality of the service is making us searching for a new bakery.

2012 Sep 30
I don't know if they make sugar free cakes, so maybe you can ask them??
their cakes are very good.

2012 Sep 30
foodtravel Next time you can try Trillium Bakery. I'm not sure if they do sugar free cakes but they will make baked items for special diets (ie- gluten allergies). Maybe they can do a special order if it's for a birthday?

2012 Sep 30
Pasta lover,

I checked out the Trillium bakery before and asked. They do not make sugar free per se but they make a cake that is supposedly somewhat low in sugar, but relative to what I am not sure lol. A lot of the birthday cakes sold are so heavy with frosting that they are sugar bombs.

Thanks Aisu, I will try to contact them. Thimble Cakes apparently make sugar free cupcakes so might call them to see if they do proper cakes.

p.s. photos of the wrinkled and old blueberries and one of a quarter cut of the sugar free chocolate mousse cake (frozen and defrosted by Cake Shop) remaining is on the review section.

2012 Sep 30
Okay made some phone calls.

1. Fedelice in Hull do have 1 type of sugar free cake called the Saint Delice. It has soft hazelnut base, chocolate and raspberry ganache and raspberry glaze. They do not use any kind of sugar but use natural sugar of fruit and juices to sweeten the cake. Thumbs up. Really love the fact that they put all the ingredients on the website and full nutritional grid.

They bake their cakes fresh every day and they request 2 days advance order but you can take your chance to call the day before. The 2 days is in case they need to clarify something or make arrangements for the more specialized baker (capable of baking sugar free cake) to be available.

The price is a very reasonable sounding $21.75 for 6" and $32.95 for an 8" considering the ingredients used for the St. Delice and other cakes are at similar price ranges. They also have some wonderful looking regular cakes including a real chocolate mousse cake that only has 21 g of sugar per serving vs the 18g of the St. Delice.

The downside is it is further away in Hull more of a 40 min trip from my house and a special trip is needed.

2) Thimble Cakes in addition to sugar free cupcakes they do make sugar free cakes with sugar free icing on order. They use maltitol to sweeten the cake.
No real information on their website about their sugar free cake but was told I can drop by and ask any question. They do bake their stuff fresh and request 2 days notice to order sugar free cakes.

The prices for their basic diabetic cake (regular layer / birthday cake type) is $50 for 6" serving approx 8 people and $72+ for 8" serving 10-12 and they can do prettier customs cakes for higher price.

3) Trillium bakery do sugar free cakes chocolate, vanilla, and lemon? sweetened with Splenda and either icing sweetened with splenda (which may have an after taste) or with an apricot glaze. I misremembered my drop by purchase and question on the topic but did go there after a fasting blood test at the General hospital. I did buy a few things from my visit and gave some to my parents and they were so-so on the baked goods.

The price is $30 for 4-5 people, $38 for 6-8, $48 for 8-10 and $55 for 10-12 up to $100 for 20-30 people.

4) called the French bakery and the person think they can do sugar free cakes for special order but suggest I call tomorrow during the day and speak to a pastry chef.

My sister and my niece wwere remembering the french patisseries they loved on their previous visit to Paris. ..

2012 Sep 30
Try Auntie Loo's treats. They're a vegan bakery and last time I talked to them, they were working on developing recipes with Agave syrup in them. Not "sugar-free" but agave is low on the glycemic index and is a natural sweetner that many diabetic use.

2012 Sep 30
Yeah I have purchased stevia at Whole foods and Traders Joes in US and larger sized agave syrup too. The diabetic items for sell in the US is far more extensive then in Canada.

I used stevia and splenda to bake pies before but found cakes and tea breads do not do as well without sugar. The ones I do with 40-50% sugar are more successful than 100% sub.

2012 Oct 1
Are we talking about the Cake Shop on greenback? That guy also bought the cake shop on Preston. Was called Reginas bakery, I think.

2012 Oct 1
No the Cake Shop on greenbank moved location to Wellington, next to Emrald Bakery and around the corner from CAA offices. It is run by a mother / daughter team.