Located down the hall from a carving store and next to a hair salon are the bright orange walls of Iqaluit’s only standalone bakery, I Like Cake. Every morning, owner and baker Sadie Vincent-Wolfe dons an apron and fires up the stand mixers (she has three, obviously). On the to-do list are, of course, cakes: tiered cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, and other confections lovingly made by Sadie, an at-home-baker-turned-businesswoman (for an excellent retrospective of Sadie’s entrepreneurial journey, check out her profile on the Inuit Women in Business Network).
But don’t let the name fool you; since opening in February 2013, I Like Cake has expanded its menu to include hearty lunches as well as full-fledged catering services. And, just like the cakes she started with, every item on Sadie’s menu is prepared fresh, daily, and with care.
As I Like Cake enters its second year on the scene, the bakery-cum-café has something extra on its shelves: mounted proudly between the cash register and cupcake display case is the 2014 Frozen Globe Award for Best New Business, which was awarded to I Like Cake at a ceremony held in Whitehorse. The Frozen Globe Awards, sponsored by Up Here Business, are held in honour of the best in industry and commerce north of sixty.
Sadie has something new to smile about: the Frozen Globe Award for Best New Business.
Based on hype, recommendations, and my previous experience with Sadie’s treats, I thought it was time to review I Like Cake for the blog. By chance, coincidence, or the grace of the foodie gods, my dining partner, Ted Cousins (please read his hilarious guest post, please) and I stopped by for lunch on a day when the menu featured (wait for it) pulled pork bunwiches. Needless, to say, we were salivating and slightly worried that I Like Cake would run out of slow-roasted meat before we got to the counter.
Naturally, Ted and I both ordered a pulled pork bunwich ($6), but maintained some level of journalistic integrity by varying our soup options; char chowder for him, corn chowder for me ($7 each, with a bun). Loaded with hot sandwiches and hot soups ($12 for each combo), we settled into one of two tables and started eating.
The pulled pork bunwich is so-called because the filling is served on a fresh, homemade bun. Your choice of white or brown (we had one of each), the buns are soft and fluffy, but just dense enough to keep their shape and texture even when loaded with sticky-sweet pulled pork. The meat was tender, not overly-sauced, but full of flavour from spices and roasting. Ted and I devoured the bunwiches, the only comment being that it left us craving coleslaw.
On to the soups: the corn chowder was sweet and creamy, loaded with potatoes, finished with just the right amount of heat. I didn’t get the chance to try the Arctic char chowder, but both the diners behind us and Ted remarked that it was “delicious”.
In terms of ambience, I Like Cake is warm, inviting, and definitely family-friendly. In between taking bites and photos, we played tag with Sadie’s daughters and tried to pet Buddy, one of the little dogs who hangs out at the carving store and wanders between the two shops.
Though she did not have any in-store during this visit, Sadie is also blessed with the honour of making the very best butter tart I have ever eaten. Again, it all comes down to the ingredients, which are as fresh as she can get them, prepared properly, and served with a smile. In a town full of high-priced, deep-fried foods, it’s reassuring to know that there is somewhere to get healthy, tasty meals at a reasonable price, and at a place that is Nunavut-owned in the truest sense of the phrase. As easily as I can say I like cake, so can I proclaim that I like, nay, love I Like Cake.
I Like Cake is located in Tumiit Plaza, building 626. Open for lunch Monday to Friday. For special order cakes or catering, you can reach I Like Cake by phone at 979-5253, on their Facebook page, or on Twitter at @IlikeCAKEshop.