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Celena's Bakery at Woodbine & Danforth opening Sat Feb 6th

mariecollins Feb 4, 2010 05:20 AM

So says the sign in the window....

  1. Full tummy Feb 4, 2010 07:41 AM

    It's just up the street from me, so I'm hoping it's going to be good!! If you go, please post about it!

    http://www.celenasbakery.com/

    1. y
      yunnage Feb 4, 2010 05:59 PM

      So looking forward to this. I'll be sure to check it out!

      1. p
        precia Feb 6, 2010 12:43 PM

        My chocolate chunk cookie was really good. Nice big cookie with a serious homemade taste for $1.50. I don't actually know if that's the official name for it, because it was the only flavour they had at the time. Stock on everything was really low, and the place was hopping, but they also had an assortment of biscotti, ginger spice loaves for $4.99, a variety of jams and chutneys (including a seville orange and chocolate marmalade) and I saw someone leaving with a pie. Coffee, hot chocolate, lattes, cappucinos, etc ran from $1.50-1.99 for a good sized small.

        Very cheery, friendly atmosphere. Really good cookies. It's nice to have a bakery in the neighbourhood.* I'll definitely be back in next time I want a good loaf of bread, and look forward to seeing if they do special occasion cakes.

        *I'm actually much closer to Jubilee Cakes, but have only seen them open once - walked by during their posted hours to see all the lights off, walked past a few hours later and noticed they were open for a change - about an hour after they should have closed for the day. I'm not entirely convinced they aren't a front for something else.

        1 Reply
        1. re: precia
          a
          Apple Feb 8, 2010 07:38 PM

          whoa! Wait a second! Jubilee Cakes actually opens? I have EVER seen them open and I used to pass by twice every day. I thought it was a front, too.

          Encouraged to hear that Celena's has potential. You had me at chocolate marmalade

        2. Full tummy Feb 7, 2010 07:35 AM

          So, Hubby and I went yesterday, their first day. Very, very busy, as in no more seating available and at least a five minute line-up. They were clearly having trouble keeping up with demand, as the displays were pretty much empty, but there were quite a few people in the open kitchen working to put more on the shelves. We tried a few things: a baguette, a pie, some croissants, which were all good, but were all lacking in one key feature: They were all a little underbaked. (I am wondering if they were just pushing baking times in order to put product in customers' hands...) Excellent coffee. We will be back.

          1. Lazar Feb 8, 2010 11:50 AM

            Popped in to this place on Sunday. Had a look at all the loaves, and was pretty impressed by the size, and the apparent quality. Didn't really see any other treats (ie. croissant, etc) but I was really only looking for a good quality bread. So I picked up a loaf of traditional white (I think they called it "tin white") and then remembered that someone mentioned the ginge spice loaves. I asked if they had any, after checking with Celena (impressed that she was there and visible in the back) they told me that they would be ready after 4pm. I found that kind of odd, yet gratifying. Odd because they close at 5pm, and most places have already started cleaning up by that time. Gratifying in that it meant there would still be very fresh baked goods available throughout the day (although we will see what happens after they settle into a groove and have their grand opening).

            Anyway, got home and cut a slice of bread. It was amazing. Very, very fresh and tasty. I just ate the bread on its own without anything. To do otherwise would have seemed sacrilegious. Later, made a sandwich with it, and you can never underestimate the power of really fresh bread. Love it.

            I will have to make special trips out to this place, but those excursions will be worth it. Can't wait to try some of their other goodies and see how they compare.

            1. t
              TOFoodFan Feb 10, 2010 04:20 PM

              This is just a few blocks from my house and our neighbourhood suffers from a serious lack of quality breads, etc., so I'm excited to try Celena's. Think I'll wait a few more days in the hopes their supply catches up to demand.

              If Lazar is right and they close at 5pm, I hope those are just temporary hours. One of the reasons Danforth East lacks vibrancy is the abysmal operating hours of many of the retail food shops in the area. During the week, a neighbourhood bakery needs to be open through rush hour, so commuters on their way home from work can stop in for a loaf or a pie.

              3 Replies
              1. re: TOFoodFan
                Lazar Feb 10, 2010 04:57 PM

                I guess I should clarify, it wasn't a big deal for me that they close on Sunday at 5pm. I was just surprized that they were still baking that late in the day.

                And another point their regular hours are 7 - 7, Monday to Friday, 9 - 5 Saturday, & 10 - 5 Sunday.

                Their website is up at:

                http://www.celenasbakery.com/

                Hope that clears things up

                1. re: Lazar
                  k
                  katbri Feb 16, 2010 07:20 AM

                  I went by on Sunday at 4:15 pm and the door was locked although staff were still in the store.

                  1. re: katbri
                    Lazar Feb 16, 2010 08:19 AM

                    Hmmm, well I guess they are still working the kinks out and after their grand opening their hours would be more consistent

              2. mariecollins Feb 16, 2010 06:16 AM

                Breads have been lovely so far: Caraway Rye, Wholewheat and Rosemary Raisin, they come out the oven at 10am. I'm not much of a sweet treats person and I thought they were a little pricey (small danish at $1.75). Coffee was great. I'll be buying bread at least four times a week.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mariecollins
                  b
                  Borbo Rygmus Feb 17, 2010 08:05 AM

                  Obviously, I agree with everyone that we definitely needed a bakery in the hood.
                  I already have a opinion on how they will do and what could they do to improve but I will reserve that for a little later. When they have been open for a couple of month and had time to work out the kinks. So, I will limit myself to what I have tried . The only thing I have tried, which to my own opinion is a true testament of a baker's skill, is the croissant. My croissant looked a little bigger than the average but looked good. It certainly felt heavier than average, three times as heavy. I broke it open to eat it and then it was all over. I have had better croissant from a grocery. Crust not flaky, well flaky but It came apart as one big flake. As for the inside well, it was not fully cooked. I could not eat it which broke my heart. First, what a waste of a pastry, I absolutely hate throwing out food, and that's beside the fact that it's money wasted. Let's hope that they improve quickly otherwise they sure have lost me. On a better note, I saw Celena's baking in the back which was comforting and spoke with her husband who was very pleasant. Best of luck to you Celena's team. But please do you homework, go out there to see, feel and taste what other bakery are serving. Until then...

                  -----
                  Celena's Bakery
                  2036 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C, CA

                2. h
                  hoagy294 Feb 27, 2010 05:01 AM

                  The roasted garlic sourdough loaf is delicious.
                  The hours have changed from the previous post and they close at 4 on Sundays, maybe that's why the door was locked.
                  I wish them well, we need a bakery in the 'hood. Apparently they're getting loads of negative feedback, thanks so much haters. They appear really young and are obviously just working out the kinks, I'd rather be patient than have to stick with the valu--mart bread.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: hoagy294
                    Olivia Mar 3, 2010 09:41 AM

                    "I wish them well, we need a bakery in the 'hood. Apparently they're getting loads of negative feedback, thanks so much haters. ... I'd rather be patient than have to stick with the valu--mart bread."

                    Well put, hoagy294! I'm further west, and am willing to go out to Celena's for something that's made in-house and natural tasting.

                    Finally went myself, and bought a croissant and roll (just to see how the breads are). Although the croissant layers were fairly thick, it was still delicious, and obviously made with *butter* (what a concept!). The roll indicated to me that their breads are great too.

                    I hope this place makes it, as it will only attract more good food operations to the area.

                    1. re: Olivia
                      n
                      neighborguy Mar 3, 2010 12:25 PM

                      I'll be heading out for one of those croissant for sure!

                      The white baguette I bought during the soft opening was good. It was somewhat dense for my liking but it was fresh and I also loved it was made close by.

                      I'm also one who is good for giving my critique but in this case I find the only correct response is to support this place and their good intentions.

                      1. re: neighborguy
                        k
                        katsongs Mar 3, 2010 01:22 PM

                        I was so excited to find this thread last night -- just got back from my first foray. They have some yummy small pizzas for lunch (pre-made, you can either take to go or they'll heat it up there). We had one on a garlic sourdough base with tomato, cheese, and basil -- really liked it! Also tried the chewy chocolate pecan brownie (my partner particularly liked that and said it reminded her of pesadich/passover brownies). I loved the chocolate-blueberry scone -- buttery and great consistency. We brought home (but didn't try yet) a strawberry-chocolate muffin, a jar of chocolate orange marmalade, and loaves of whole wheat and sourdough bread.

                        They seem to feature a soup for lunch each day, an array of coffee/tea/hot chocolate/juices. Other things I saw were bread pudding with butterscotch sauce, various kinds of cookies, several other flavors of scone, croutons (from a couple of different breads), other marmalades, various flavors of breads & baguettes & dinner rolls.

                        It's a sweet little spot! Bright cheery yellow walls, nice artwork decorating them, several wooden tables & chairs up front. Extra points for having a washroom on the main floor instead of down a flight of stairs. Plus the guy who waited on us was super nice. Really glad to have a place like this in the neighborhood!

                        1. re: neighborguy
                          l
                          liverwurst Sep 14, 2010 06:32 PM

                          I would completely agree with "neighborguy". It's been over 6 months since this bakery's been around, and I am happy to see that this place gets a pretty steady flow of traffic. I like the fact that we've finally got a real bakery in the neighbourhood, and even more pleased that the owners are of the young-blood sort.

                          As for the goods...nothing beats a real French croissant - Celena's croissant is not of that style, but I still enjoy its denseness and very buttery taste. Had the roasted garlic sourdough once, and, unfortunately, did not like it. found that particular loaf to be a little too salty to my liking, but hey, that was 5 months ago. We love the apple turnover, and the lemon cranberry square. Recently, we ordered a birthday cake there. We were pretty devastated when Sweet Indulgence closed their doors because we LOVED their mixed berries and cream cake. We are NOT fans of the buttercream icing. Anyway, Celena's does a pretty darn good version of the Sweet Indulgence cake, and I would happily get it again.

                          I noticed that there's going to be another business about to open across the street (Cake Town Bakery or something). I really hope it's not going to mean a loss of business for Celena's.

                          1. re: liverwurst
                            n
                            neighborguy Sep 23, 2010 03:50 PM

                            So "liverwurst" -- you would recommend them as a satisfactory replacement for Sweet Indulgence?

                            1. re: neighborguy
                              m
                              millygirl Sep 24, 2010 06:59 AM

                              Can you describe what kind of birthday cake they did for you liverwurst?
                              Was it chocolate, vanilla, filling? I'm always looking for a local place that makes good birthday cakes.

                              1. re: neighborguy
                                l
                                liverwurst Oct 18, 2010 01:41 PM

                                Hi, neighborguy and millygirl.

                                I've had a birthday cake once at Celena's, and I think I liked it enough to try it again. We are very fond of the mixed berries and cream cake from Sweet Indulgence, and really, it would be hard to find something exactly like that. But, the similar one from Celena's will do. The filling was a pastry cream, mixed with some berries, I think. It wasn't too sweet or rich, which is the way I prefer my cakes. I have had cakes from Dufflets, Katie's Cakes, and Select Bakery, and obviously, Sweet Indulgence was tops on my list (I think we've had the mixed berries and cream cake about 20 times). Celena's is now second.

                                1. re: liverwurst
                                  n
                                  neighborguy Oct 18, 2010 06:50 PM

                                  Good to know. Thanks.
                                  The area is becoming quite the decent mini-destination.
                                  BTW, do you know what happened to Sweet Indulgence?)

                                  1. re: neighborguy
                                    l
                                    liverwurst Oct 19, 2010 10:55 AM

                                    I agree. Between Better Bulk, Celena's and Royal Beef - it's become a real happenin' block!
                                    There was a note taped to the door of Sweet Indulgence stating they were in arrears of rent payment, I think. My husband thought for sure they would pay up and the place would re-open....

                      2. Full tummy Apr 3, 2010 07:48 AM

                        Have been to Celena's several times since my first visit (and report)...things are much improved since that first day. I love the croissants, with all their crisp crackly exterior and the buttery tender layers.

                        This morning, I tried a cherry danish, and it, too, was excellent. No cherry pie filling on top, thank goodness. Lots of things in stock, including hot cross buns, and some really yummy looking squares. There were several people in line when I arrived, so here's hoping they're developing a group of "regulars".

                        1. juliaschildathome Apr 26, 2010 10:31 AM

                          I am in love with their roasted garlic sourdough. Can't get enough of it.

                          1. JamieK May 16, 2010 05:09 PM

                            I finally tried the roasted-garlic sourdough bread after reading the raves on this thread and was sorely disappointed. Both the sourdough bread as well as the plain baguette had a dense cake-like texture that I hate. I prefer the chewier airy texture you get with good old Ace or a fine Boulart

                            Worse, I served both breads to some dinner guests (I know I know I should have tested the bread myself first) and I could tell they were not impressed.

                            I haven't tried the pastries such as cookies and croissants and they looked tasty. I think Celena is really sweet and I wish them all the best but I will not be going there for bread again.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: JamieK
                              y
                              yunnage May 16, 2010 05:21 PM

                              Sadly, I agree. The breads are too dense and too short to make sandwiches out of them. The danishes and turnovers are nice though. I was hoping to purchase bread regularly from there to support the store, but we prefer fluffier bread.

                              1. re: yunnage
                                Full tummy May 17, 2010 06:35 AM

                                Yes, me too. I stay away from the breads and head straight for the croissants...

                                1. re: yunnage
                                  mariecollins May 17, 2010 09:01 AM

                                  I like the wholewheat tin and the rosemary raisin. Butter tarts are good - though maybe a bit too runny. I've been buying bread from Celena's and treats from Cozy Cafe,

                                2. re: JamieK
                                  a
                                  Armack Apr 18, 2011 07:45 AM

                                  I, too, tried the roasted garlic sourdough and was let down. I went in yesterday at 10am but since they had just opened not everyting was quite ready. no biggie, so I sat down with a cup of coffee and waited. When the bread was ready, the girl brought it over in a brown paper bag and I immediately got excited at the prospect of warm delicious sourdough bread. All the way home I was getting whiffs or roasted garlic which made walking home in that brutal weather tolerable.

                                  It wasn't tangy, it wasn't chewy, and it certainly wasn't garlicky. If I had expected a nice white bread I would be pleased since it made for a rather delicious peanut butter sandwich...

                                  my second butter tart in as many days made up for it a little bit :)

                                3. p
                                  Pincus Sep 15, 2010 12:45 PM

                                  I really need to check this place out.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Pincus
                                    mariecollins Sep 16, 2010 09:04 AM

                                    Cake town is going to open this Sunday. I have no idea how I'm going to spread my business between 3 bakeries

                                    1. re: mariecollins
                                      p
                                      Pincus Sep 16, 2010 10:52 AM

                                      Luckily for me, I appreciate good baked goods, I don't live for them. :) French fries, now...

                                  2. j
                                    jimmynickel Oct 15, 2010 08:53 AM

                                    Seriously, a whole thread on local bakeries and no mention of True Brew? Yes, they are a coffeehouse but damn they bake up some fine fine pastries - you can watch Sue do it and it makes the whole place smell amazing.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: jimmynickel
                                      Full tummy Oct 16, 2010 10:37 PM

                                      What do you recommend at True Blue and why? Does she bake every day, and what kinds of treats do they sell?

                                      1. re: Full tummy
                                        j
                                        jimmynickel Oct 17, 2010 08:39 AM

                                        She bakes fresh stuff every day, which is great because it's fresh, but if it gets busy, she can run out. The scones are superb, you can taste the butter. My neighbours are addicted to her muffins and loaves. There's soups too, if you can catch the butternut squash or pumpkin you're in luck.

                                    2. j
                                      JosMcquaid Apr 1, 2011 12:39 PM

                                      Okay. I just came from Celena's bakery this morning. I ordered an espresso and a croissant, and I went to sit down. After they finished serving all the people who came in after me, they gave me a small lump of twisted dough in a little white bag. I guessed, correctly, that this was my 'croissant'. Okay. I'm fussy. I've spent time in Paris and know what it should be. But this thing was less like a croissant than the monstrosities sold in grocery store bakeries: this was a soggy lump of white, semi-baked dough in a bag. So, I went to the counter and asked if there was something wrong with the croissants this morning (was the oven on the Fritz?). She looked at me like I was from the Dogon planetary system. "No. They are fine. Would you like one that is a little darker?" I declined, politely, deposting the twist of yukky dough and bag on the counter. She offered me to select some other pastry. Well, I don't eat sweets, so I tried the 'scallion scone'. It was stale, fell apart on the little napkin which passes for plates at Celena's, and tasted like it was made from a mix, with a bit of onion thrown in to offset the over-sweet mix. So, I gave up and took the subway to work. Did I mention the espresso was cold? The espresso was coldish: certainly not hot. I should have taken it back, too but I already felt like an asshole for taking the 'croissant' back. Big shame. Hardly edible. No. Not edible. A white, soggy, undercooked slab of twisted pastry. Not a croissant. If you want a coffee and pastry at Danforth and Woodbine, try somewhere else. For sure.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: JosMcquaid
                                        Full tummy Apr 1, 2011 03:55 PM

                                        That's too bad. It's definitely a mixed bag there, and it sounds like there was nothing redeeming about your visit.

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