The minute you walk in the door at Coco Cake Co. you know you are in for something special. This local confectionary is a gem. From the front desk you can see right into the gleaming white and stainless steel kitchen and you can smell the deliciousness baking in the ovens. Founded one year ago, Coco Cake Co. is the brainchild of Donna and Tianna Argiro. Tianna, while completing her degree in fine arts, took up baking at home for therapeutic reasons to help her through her studies. Her mother, Donna, seeing the calming effect baking had on her daughter, enrolled both of them in the Bonnie Gordon School for a five-week intensive Confectionary Arts program.
As Tianna completed her degree at the University of Toronto, Donna went on to George Brown College to continue advancing her skills in the confectionary trade. Once both were completed their respective courses, the ladies took to planning the opening for Coco Cake Co. It was the perfect outlet to let their creativity flow, “it is an art form and I have always had a sweet tooth. I love the creative part. We love anything design oriented and we like food. Our family is a bunch of foodies,” Tianna addresses the fact that her family is the owners of Massey’s Restaurant and that she has grown up to perfect a sense of costumer service as well as a perceptive palate.
Inspiration comes from a variety of sources, everything from textiles, graphic design and fashion, to fast food. Donna has produced confectionaries that resemble a Valentino suit to one that looked exactly like a cheeseburger. Tianna’s favourite cakes to design are 1st birthday cakes, which is evident from her Sesame Street inspired creation that can be found on Coco Cake Co.’s website. Donna and Tianna pride themselves on never creating the same cake twice so that each is unique and one of a kind.
Everything at Coco Cake Co. is made from scratch using quality ingredients. Should you want a lemon cake, the lemon juice is freshly squeezed and the zest is shredded on site. The raspberry flavor in the raspberry buttercream is from real raspberry puree. Coco Cake Co. does not scrimp when it comes to chocolate. All chocolate confectionaries are made with 22 – 24 % pure cocoa. If you like coconut you will love Coco Cake Co.’s coconut cream pie. Their most popular cake, the red velvet, is a light crumb cake with bittersweet cocoa and a touch of vinegar: it is to die for! Coco Cake Co. will also carry seasonal flavours for the holidays such as the pumpkin cake they had for Thanks Giving or the gingerbread cupcake that made its debut for Christmas. When you cannot decide on just one cake flavour, do the smart thing; drop by and pick up a selection of Coco Cake Co.’s cupcakes and try all of the flavours. You will then get to indulge and call it research!
Coco Cake Co. does not stock frozen product as Donna explains, “A lot of people have expected to come in and to see cases full of things.” What they find instead are cupcakes, shortbread, chocolate chip and sugar cookies, which were freshly baked on site that very day. In order to maintain the standard of quality Coco Cake Co. has set for them selves, they will select feature cupcake flavours for each week and then rotate to other cupcake flavours the following week. If you require a dozen or more cupcakes or cookies, it is best to call a day ahead of when you need them.
When ordering a Coco Cake Co. cake, or one of their very popular coconut cream pies, it is best to order a minimum of two days in advance. A custom cake should be ordered two weeks prior to your event. If you would like to order a wedding cake, please call ahead and book an appointment with Tianna or Donna at least three months prior to the date of the wedding. These cakes are a work of art and time is needed to find the perfect design and ingredients to suit the individual. Bring in your ideas knowing that the cake will be personalized for you as Donna explains, “We really try to customize it specific to them. Often times a bride and groom will bring in a picture, but we don’t like to copy anything. We will take that as a lead and then put our own spin on it. We use [the picture] for inspiration.”
The word on Coco Cake Co. is out! Coco Cake Co. was honoured to have supplied 450 cupcakes at the Mayor’s 2011 Levy and a slab cake designed with the City of Pickering’s bicentennial logo. They are now the official desserts supplier to Massey’s Restaurant. Their cupcakes and cakes are in Massey’s display case for your pleasure to sit a moment in the restaurant and have a cupcake or a slice of pie with a cup of coffee. Massey’s is pleased to serve the in-house desserts as they now have their own bakery in Coco Cake Co., which you can go visit. “When customers come in they are so excited that there’s just this special tiny little place. Especially the women, they always come in excited and it makes us feel good,” Donna describes the personal touch that Coco Cake Co. has brought to desserts.
When asked why Coco Cake Co. goes to such lengths to produce scratch-baked products Donna answers, “We, as a society, have gone so far away from what food really tastes like with all the fast food and that. We get customers in here that say our product tastes real, that it does not taste fake or artificial. [We want to] educate people more on real food. What we sell is an indulgence but it is made from natural ingredients.” Tianna further expands on Donna’s line of thinking, “We [Coco Cake Co.] take it to a different level. There are no preservatives, nothing synthetic. You are getting what you are paying for. You will know when you taste it.”