Burnt Honey Dessert Company has only been open for a year and a half and it is already a two-time Best of the City winner for Best Desserts.
Head pastry chef Kara Shedden said she and co-owner and wife Fiona were both “in tears” when they heard they won the public vote. She said “there’s no better validation from your community.”
“Taking the time out of their busy lives and schedules to vote for us, it brings me to tears when I think about it because it means so much to both of us,” Kara said.
Opening a dessert shop had been a longtime dream of Kara’s. She said she and her mother and grandmother bonded over baking and food was always at the centre of family celebrations.
“As soon as I met Kara I realized I’ve never met anybody who’s quite as serious about desserts and ice cream in particular,” Fiona said.
Kara said she’s always had a commanding sweet tooth, which ultimately drew her to the world of dessert making. She said ice cream is like a “blank canvas” open to interpretation.
“You can make it any flavour that you can come up with creatively,” Kara said. “So I just always enjoyed going to different ice cream shops over the years and seeing what they’re doing and what kind of flavours and combinations people are coming up with.”
Before opening Burnt Honey, Kara experimented with selling desserts at the Island Roots Farmers Market. The Sheddens eventually opened their shop at Country Club Centre mall during a snowstorm in February 2019. It was the first time either of them had started a business.
“I was stuck in a lot of self-doubt around it but Fiona was definitely my cheerleader from behind and we decided to move forward and open the shop, Kara said. “And it was incredibly challenging to get things going.”
After a year and a half Kara said she feels like they still have a lot more to offer and continue to come up with new “creative and inventive” flavours. Fiona said their accomplishments have far exceeded their expectations.
Kara said the future, like a scoop of ice cream, is full of potential.
“Everything that we thought of how this journey was going to go up to this point has been 100 per cent different,” she said. “So it’s hard to say what the future will hold for us.”