‘From art to food’
It’s just before 10 a.m. on Friday morning and as I join the hustle and bustle of Uptown Waterloo, I gather my surroundings. People going to class, driving to work, catching the bus or going about their daily errands.
However newly established and nestled right in the middle of the action, Honey Bake Shop at 100 King St. south stands out with its multi-coloured honeycomb banner and ellaborate cakes in the window, ready to be shown off.
As soon as I walk into this little bakery, the smell of freshly baked goods immediately fills up my nostrils. While trying to put a face to the owner of the shop, a young woman walks out of the kitchen.
Darlene Khounphachangsi is a 25-year-old who has her roots in graphic design and cake decorating and decided to fuse the two together for her creative vision.
“From art to food there really isn’t a border,” Khounphachangsi explained. “Say I tasted Jill’s chocolate cake and then something beside me that someone is eating just wafted by and I was like ‘this tastes really good with that smell.’”
The menu at the Honey Bake Shop is still growing and changing and never stays quite the same for more than two weeks at a time. When talking about how they choose what stays and what goes, Khounphachangsi mentioned that they take into account of what works and what doesn’t as well as what the customers want.
“Maple bacon was kind of a one-time thing and then we got rid of it because we thought it was a little weird having meat with a cupcake,” she said. “But as soon as we stopped carrying it people were like ‘no, you need to get that back!’ and now it’s a staple on the menu.”
Khounphachangsi stated that the bakery’s most popular cupcakes are the maple bacon or red velvet varieties.
Honey Bake Shop doesn’t just offer cupcakes. Khounphachangsi and her tight-knit staff work together to bring customers a wide variety of other treats such as: loaves, lunch sandwiches, all natural ice cream, tea and coffee and decorative cakes. Since the shop is still new there are plenty of Waterloo residents and students who are gradually stumbling upon it and it has to be the warm athmosphere and friendliness that has them coming back.
“We have a few customers who actually come here on a daily basis; religiously. They have their own spots and we try to make sure that those spots are free for them,” noted Khounphachangsi.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner Khounphachangsi plans to stock up on a variety of themed treats.
“For Valentine’s we are creating an assortment of Unique Valentine’s cupcakes,” she said. “From cute and sweet, to funny and anti-Valentine’s themed. We will be selling these goodies starting this coming weekend until Valentine’s weekend.”