Tasty, fresh-made baked goods in a welcome, open and family friendly environment.
The Underground Bake Shop started with entrepreneur Evelyn Pocock, who like many found herself graduating college during the peak of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Evelyn initially studied animal science and was working in the service industry at a café in Toronto. When she wasn’t studying or working, Evelyn found herself picking up the old hobby of baking, which she’s enjoyed since she was young. Friends and neighbours soon started looking to purchase baked goods and placing larger orders. At the start, all of the baking was done out of her basement apartment, literally underground—this is how the business name was born.
Things were starting to get busy when Evelyn was faced with making the decision to pursue opening her own café, or finding work related to her studies in animal science. Evelyn chatted with her family and had their support to open a café. The family has owned a cottage on Lake Simcoe for many years, so they were familiar with the Beaverton area. After looking at several locations, they found their current downtown Beaverton location with great parking and steady traffic along Mara Road. The location offered great visibility of the bake shop from the street and is close to local schools and walkable neighbourhoods in the area. Previously, the space was used as a hair salon and required just the right amount of work to make it their own.
Beaverton hasn’t had a bakery in approximately 20 years. Prior to opening in August 2021, Evelyn did some market research in a local Facebook group to gauge what residents thought about a new bakery and which items they would like to see available. The grand opening was a hit. The bake shop was promoted on social media and through word of mouth, and in the first few weeks the response was overwhelming. It was a challenge to keep up with demand, but all their hard work proved to be worth it. On one of the busiest days to date, they baked over 100 loaves of bread in a single day!
Evelyn has the support of many family members and friends in making her dream a reality. From her dad who helped with the counters and shelving, to her sister’s help with both graphic and web design, it was a collective effort to turn the space into the cute, insta-worthy spot that it is today. Even her mom Colleen came out of retirement to help, and you might even bump into her at the shop. I did—and she made the lovely recommendation to try the “Love Child” which I really enjoyed!
The Love Child was made by fluke! They had let the croissant dough overproof, which would have resulted in more air than substance. Instead of wasting the dough, they tried cooking it in a muffin tray. The result? A delicious croissant-like buttery pastry in muffin form. They’re rolled it in sugar and salt, which resembles a French recipe, and the result was a delicious, sweet-and-savoury treat.
All of the baking and production at the Underground Bake Shop is done in-house, which means you’re guaranteed fresh and tasty treats every time. Additionally, many of the recipes are very old and have been handed down through social circles for many years. For instance, the whole wheat bread is from a well-known recipe of a friend’s grandfather. He used to make his bread in the Beaverton area and local residents would flock to his shop to try this bread. Some people hadn’t had it in over 40 years! They all agree that the Underground Bake Shop’s final product is just as delicious as the original recipe.
If you’re looking for a specific item, it’s recommended that you pre-order to avoid disappointment. However, since they bake fresh daily, chances are you can grab a few fresh items if you arrive early enough. The team strives to create a welcoming, open and family friendly environment and they love to take the time to learn and build relationships with their guests. Beyond baking, Evelyn loves to make connections with the local community. Opening the shop really helped to break up the isolation faced during the earlier times of working out of the basement apartment. Being in charge, Evelyn is able to introduce and switch up the recipes. They often add and remove to the menu which helps keep regulars interested and excited to try the latest menu item.
Beaverton has changed so much over the past several years with Evelyn and her family seeing the growth first-hand during their time visiting over the last 18 years. There has been tremendous growth to the area with many new homes being built, and a steady increase in new businesses to the area. Throughout this, the locals have still been able to maintain a sense of community where people know one another by name and are welcoming to visitors.
The Underground Bake Shop also stocks items from other local small businesses including honey, coffee and peanut butter. You can grab a brewed coffee, tea, latte or cappuccino, and pair it with a variety of baked goods. If you’re in the area, stop by the Underground Bake Shop, or place an order before you go for pick up at undergroundbakeshop.ca.
NOTE: At the time of publishing, Durham Region and the Province of Ontario are in Step 2 of the Roadmap to Reopen with modifications; the Province’s three-step plan to safely and gradually lift public health measures, is based on improvements of key public health and health care indicators. We continue to publish these stories to encourage you to explore these businesses and communities online and through social media. When possible, please order for safe curbside pick-up if offered, and prepare to explore these areas once they are able to safely reopen.