Your Say: Favourite Cowichan Valley Bakery?


  1. I can’t believe you are asking us to choose! I have to qualify my vote for TrueGrain: it isn’t entirely based on the baking. I am not sure if I could decide on that basis alone…but those energy bars (aka butter bars) keep me going!
    My vote for True Grain is big picture: Bruce’s commitment to Cittaslow and the CBIA, proximity to my house (within cycling distance), hours of operation, number of employees and commitment to local grain and growers. Brad, Ingrid and Janet are all amazing community supporters and deliver fabulous baked goods, too. To be honest, in 10 minutes, I will have a different answer. I am now thinking about Ingrid’s cinnamon buns….

    1. You’re not alone thinking this poll isn’t fair. The Mister and I got into an argument about whether I should post it. I did anyway (stubborn), though now that I read your response I think he may have had a point (dang it).

      Anyway, thank you for qualifying your answer; I hope others do the same.


      P.S. Why did you have to bring up Ingrid’s cinnamon buns right before I head to bed? And on a Monday (when they aren’t open for another five days)?? Too cruel.

  2. I think we only got to Saison while we were visiting. So much to look foward to when we visit again. As for Calgary, I can only think of one great bakery. ‘A Ladybug Bakery’ at The Calgary Farmer’s Market or her or other location, A Ladybug Bakery and Cafe. Don’t miss them when your in the city!

  3. Haven’t tried Merridale’s baked goods and Amuse (unfortunately) isn’t exactly next door. True Grain is great, but my vote still goes to Saison! Cinnamon buns at Old Town Bakery Ladysmith give us something to look forward to on the ferry runs… But, bottom line — wouldn’t it be something to have a good bakery right in Maple Bay village again?

      1. Thanks Kate. I know it too; I was at Old Town in Ladysmith last weekend and was blown away by the selection of cinnamon buns. Didn’t know they were made twice daily… That’s just too tempting!

      2. Oh I have heard about Kate’s Baking at Old Town. I haven’t been there yet but will have to check it out! I have been to True Grains and Amuse Bakery, both fantastic!

  4. Thanks for posting this. I’ve only been to Merridale and True Grain, so now I know a couple others I need to try out! I’m obsessed with Cinnamon buns so maybe we could do a poll as to where you can find the best buns in our area…?

      1. Sara,

        Brilliant idea! I’d just thought the same about having a cinnamon bun poll, as I too would like to know where the best are found. Maybe there should be a cinnamon bun map of the valley.

        Ingrid and her cinnamon buns are found at Saison Market, Saturdays and Sundays only.


  5. Saison has it! for the sheer indulgence of cinn buns, quiches, et la Tourtiere a Noel! but………..for day to day True Grain is the bread I love as well as the non gluten breads at the Community Farm store! And so this poll isnt a fair one for me to vote on because I’ve never been to Amuse Bakery or Merridale Bakery!

  6. Hi Maeve,
    I’m so honoured and thankful that you posted this and included merridale amongst the choices. As I can see from the posts, most people don’t even know that merridale has an incredible bakery. So, I’m grateful for the awareness that you’ve created for our bakery. Our baker is well known in the Cowichan Valley and all of our baked goods are made in our authentic outdoor wood-fired brick oven. They are so delicious! But of course, I’m biased, not to mention spoiled, since I work there!
    Thanks again Maeve and I love reading your blog posts!

    1. Hi Julie,

      Thank you for your lovely comment. The whole point of the poll was to highlight how spoiled we all our with our bakeries in the valley. You can thank Sheila from Valley Voice Magazine for Merridale’s inclusion in this poll; she raved about your wood-fired bread this summer. Word-of-mouth is how this valley rolls!

      See you soon,


  7. Old Town Baker in Ladysmith for pastries & fig bread and True Grain for rye breads & pretzels. Both worth detours in the classic Michelin guide terms. Fantastic.

    What the Valley is missing is a classic French bakery that focuses on levain-based breads using lighter flours; lighter, finer pastries, and chocolate classics like tarte au chocolat, bacchus, or l’opera cakes.

    The local baking is excellent, but perhaps because of the focus on coarser/healthier/artisan ground flours (and other reasons?) the local breads focus on darker/whole grain/rye, and the pastries are larger and softer. I love the smaller, lighter, crisper European versions.

    And chocolate? Well you just can’t ever have enough chocolate!

    1. Ah, yes, a Parisian patisserie with macaroons and petit fours, and other delightful creations that look more like art nouveau jewelry than food. I think you’re on to something Clemens. We should have a word with Bradford (Amuse) or Ingrid (Saison). They might be amenable to it!

      Thanks for your input!


      1. Thanks Clemens for bring this up as we have been wanting to incorporate more of these traditional French pasteries but wasn’t sure if people were wanting this. We look forward to incorprating more of these in the new years!

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