If you have a sweet tooth, take note: Gooey cookies, succulent pies and vegan cupcakes - straight out of the oven - will be served at the first Tri-Cities' Bakers' Community Market, which starts tomorrow (Saturday).
Organized by Coquitlam resident Kimberley Allan Mulla, the market will run for five Saturdays this spring and summer in the art studio at Coquitlam's Evergreen Cultural Centre and will include treats for sample and sale from 14 vendors.
Mulla is no stranger to the bakers' market circuit, having taken part in a number of them since she started Kimberley's Kitchen last year after the birth of her second daughter. Her company - "Basically a mixer in a small kitchen in my condo," she said - specializes in classic and seasonal gourmet marshmallows and other confections.
A primary caregiver to a one- and three-year-old, Mulla said the vendors are friends and acquaintances she met at other bakers' markets who are "just like me. They do it in their spare time, after their children have gone to bed. Some of them are professionals as well. I'm really proud of them because they sell such great stuff."
Among those offering their delights include iBakery, Something Sweet For You, Em's Gems, Harmony Cakes and Hearth & Larder.
Focusing solely on baked goods - as opposed to tying them to a farmers' market that sells fruit, vegetables, etc. - "I think is a lot of fun and appeals to many people," Mulla said. "I wanted something in my hometown that had handmade and homemade baked goods, and I wanted to see people enjoying them."
In addition, the market will give customers a chance to talk directly to bakers about how they make their fare and what goes into them. Many bakers are aware of food sensitivities these days and special diets.
The market will also be a place of education, with demonstrations happening throughout the event. On Saturday, Mulla will whip up a pizza dough in 15 minutes to show her audience how easy baking can be.
Best of all, the demos will be geared to kids. "I want to tell parents that it's okay to bring them into the kitchen to learn. It can be fun and safe and it doesn't have to be messy. My toddler helps me all the time. She's learning how to read and count and about food and nutrition."
As well, her daughter is knowledgeable about artisan ingredients, local and gluten-free produce, and fair trade organics.
Passing down the trade to the next generation comes naturally to Mulla as her mother bakes, her father makes candy and her grandmother worked at Purdy's Chocolates.
"I think that as long as you have treats in moderation," she said, "everything is good."
The Tri-Cities' Bakers' Community Market runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam) on May 28, June 4, July 9, July 23 and Aug. 6. Parking is free.