Tall Shadow Bakery Has a New Home

Tall Shadow Bakery just opened their first ever storefront in the friendly, foodie Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood. I first discovered Tall Shadow’s sourdough at my local Mount Pleasant farmers market. Since then, I’ve also picked up their baked goods at the Riley Park and Trout Lake farmers markets. More recently, I wrote about Tall Shadow in my article on the Burdy food bus, as Tall Shadow provides the brioche and hoagie buns that Burdy uses for their sandwiches. I’m excited that Tall Shadow now has a full-time space where I can stop in as the craving for bread, bagels, or jalapeño cornbread strikes me.

Tall Shadow Bakery exterior

How It All Began: With Bread

Tall Shadow Bakery began with Cass Helps and their love of all things bread, but sourdough bread in particular. They have worked with sourdough for ten years and counting now. Dayle Kennedy jokes that Cass wooed her with bread when they first met. Dayle told me,”My freezer was full of bread!” Together, the duo started Tall Shadow.

Cass and Dayle Tall Shadow Bakery

Before the move to their new space on East Hastings, Tall Shadow Bakery was working out of a commissary kitchen. The set up became impractical for the kind of growing Tall Shadow was ready to do. The team, initially made up of Cass and Dayle, has also grown to include some familiar faces from the neighbourhood. Miki Ellis and Stephen Whiteside of Dachi and Mucker Next Door (as well as Elephant and Hanai) have joined the Tall Shadow team and they all worked together to refresh the space.

More Space Means More Menu Items

Another new member of the team is pastry chef Kiko Nakata. Many hands make light work, as they say, or at least means that there are more hands to do the more work that comes with a storefront space. Tall Shadow Bakery is excited to have the space, not just in terms of unlimited, unrestricted kitchen access but also in terms of the bigger shelf space in the front of house to experiment with new delicious things.

While Cass and Dayle focus more on the bread side of the pastry case, Kiko is adding nostalgic baked offerings such as the pop tart. These sell out quick so call ahead or be sure to stop by early. The one I tried was strawberry filled and the ratio of filling to crust was perfect. The funfetti cookie is another sweet and playful pastry item, and there’s frosted flake cookie and a pizza pop too.

pop tart and funfetti cookie

Another benefit of having more space is that Tall Shadow can now offer a beverage menu. You can pick up a pastry, a loaf, or both, and then have a seat and enjoy a loose leaf tea from Cultivate, a hojicha latte with Paragon hojicha powder, or a Modus coffee.

Tall Shadow Bakery Has You Covered from Sweet to Savoury

The bread menu is being expanded as well, for example, Tall Shadow Bakery now sells a milk bread loaf which is perfect for katsu or tamago sandwiches. Speaking of sandwiches, there’s the possibility of some kind of open-faced sandwich situation or toast coming soon which is very intriguing. I wouldn’t be mad about a bagel sandwich option either! Tall Shadow has the bases covered from savoury to sweet.

Tall Shadow Bakery jalapeno cornbread

The jalapeño and cheddar cornbread is a new favourite of mine. The spice level is palpable but not overpowering or intimidating. The cheddar is also pronounced. There are nice cheesy chunks throughout. The cornbread is savoury, salty, and has a great buttery crumble to it. Hot tip from a friend: warm your cornbread, slather it in butter, and then drizzle with hot honey. Or, another move suggested by co-owner Miki, fry the cornbread in butter and top with an egg. I just ate it as is and I still thought it was fantastic.

Stop by and check out the new Tall Shadow Bakery at East Hastings and Nanaimo, or grab a funfetti cookie and a sourdough loaf at farmers markets around the city every week.



About Bronwyn Lewis 57 Articles
Bronwyn Lewis is a food writer for the Vancouver Guardian. She’s also a screenwriter and producer. Born and raised in Vancouver, Bronwyn lives in Mount Pleasant and you can follow all her food adventures on Instagram.