›› Lauren Gaultier

Many Fernwood residents are surprised to learn that our community borders extend as far east as Fort Street. Enter Stadacona ­Centre located between Fort Street, Pandora Avenue, Belmont Avenue, and Stadacona Avenue. With a multitude of businesses, over the next several articles we will be showcasing the restaurants that are tucked away in this pocket of our humble hood.

Located on the Pandora Avenue side of Stadacona Centre, Origin Bakery has been serving delicious 100% gluten-free baked goods to our community since 2010. They are a staple for Victoria’s gluten-free ­community and Fernwood residents.

Origin has a second location in the Westshore’s Belmont Market which the Fernwood bakers make a large portion of the baked goods for and deliver each morning by eco-car. They also operate an online store with delivery options and limited wholesale. You can find their products in many other stores across the region.

Owner Tara Black shared with us some of their most popular items that you must try: the vegan chocolate cupcakes, carrot cupcakes, and lemon lavender tarts to name a few. You don’t have to be gluten-free to enjoy their extensive variety of products—there is something for everyone. They also have many products that are allergen and food restriction friendly. Their products are all natural and use no preservatives.

Nearly two years into a global pandemic and Origin’s situation has been precarious—like many peers in their industry—and has left them vulnerable. Despite the supply chain, staffing, and financial concerns, Origin Bakery is steadfast in their efforts to secure ingredients to continue to make products the community has come to rely on. Please continue to support them through this tough time.

“We are here to support our community and we love our neighbourhood,” shared Tara Black. “Each local business is doing their absolute best to serve each other and take the time and care to deliver our products and services to you. Please continue to be patient with each of us.

Remember that we are all tired and we all want a change. One of the best changes would be to smile with our eyes and say thank you for trying when interacting with customer service people. They need these interactions to recharge and continue to serve each­ person to their best ability.”

You can visit Origin Bakery at 1525 Pandora Avenue and pick up some fresh baking. Check out their menu and learn more about this local business at ­originbakery.­com and follow them at @originbakery.