Your next trip to Hintonburg just might be a whole lot sweeter, thanks to the July 15 opening of Holland’s Cake and Shake. Located just across from the Parkdale Market, the shop is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood’s already-thriving food scene. Known to many in Ottawa for his superlative work at the avant-garde restaurant Atelier, Pastry Chef Michael Holland is bringing his much-lauded creativity and love of the whimsical to this new culinary endeavour.
Holland studied at George Brown College’s Chef School in Toronto and quickly gravitated towards pastry when he began working professionally 20 years ago. “I really like the creative and artistic aspects of pastry,” he explains. “When I was younger I was really interested in science, math and architecture so I suppose the precision of baking is a good fit for me.”
He says the opening of Holland’s Cake and Shake represents the fulfillment of a long-held dream. “It has been a lot of work to get the shop ready but I feel very gratified by the fact that every aspect of this business is something I have done myself. That has also been the major challenge – juggling so many aspects of running a business. I have learned a ton and am so grateful that my wife has been such a supportive partner throughout this adventure.”
The menu will be short and mostly sweet, with small layer cakes, freshly made from scratch soft-serve frozen custard (like ice cream but way, way better), milkshakes, floats and paninis on house-made bread. Coffee will be supplied by great local company Ministry of Coffee who are opening an espresso bar in the shop.
“I’ll be encouraging people to come in often as I’ll be switching things up on a regular basis,” says Chef Holland, who also goes by the moniker Pastry Overlord. “I love recipe development and look forward to creating all sorts of new and innovative tasty treats.”
I tasted several of Holland’s mini cakes and can attest to how delicious they are. Flavours like peanut butter and banana, rich chocolate, vanilla with froot loop brittle are likely to be on regular rotation, along with other inventive goodies which I am looking forward to sampling.
“I like to think of Holland’s Cake and Shake as kind of a modern malt shop,” the energetic proprietor explains. I hope people will drop in once or twice a week and pick up a few cakes or a sandwich to go, or linger at one of our tables and enjoy a milkshake or coffee.”
Holland’s Cake and Shake is at 229 Armstrong Avenue and will be open Tuesdays through Sundays from approximately 8 am to 6 pm.