Mother-daughter baking team take over Affairs
Norma Panzine knew it was time to cut the apron strings but she was holding out for just the right person to take over her bakery and café on Creemore’e main street.
Affairs Catering Bakery and Café has evolved over several iterations into the quaint and cozy landmark café that it is today. Affairs got its start at the Creemore Farmers’ Market in 2002, the year after Panzine moved to Creemore. She started off by selling bread, muffins and butter tarts – the tart selection would eventually include so many flavours that there was cause for an annual bonanza.
The first shop was located behind Foodland, opening in 2003, and she moved to Mill Street in 2006. Specialties grew to include coffee, sandwiches, salads, and Friday night fish and chips.
It has become a destination for cyclists and other tourists, as well as a local favourite.
When asked why she has decided to sell Panzine says she is getting close to 70 and when her husband fell ill last winter, she decided it was time to make a change. She started to get the business in order, preparing for the sale thinking that she may need to free up time to take on the role of caregiver for her husband.
“Something like that really puts life in perspective,” she said.
Luckily her husband is feeling better but that was the impetus for the sale.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Panzine. “Because I love what I do.” She said she will miss the interaction with the customers and mostly her wonderful staff.
“I really believe if it weren’t for the staff I wouldn’t have been successful,” she said.
Panzine said she received some interesting offers on the business, but she was looking for someone who wanted to carry on as a bakery.
She said after building a business for so long and putting her heart and soul into it, it was important to her to find a buyer who would provide a similar service to the community.
A match was found in mother-daughter duo Jody Carriere and Cortlin Robbins.
Both say they are avid bakers and were looking for a new business venture having moved to Collingwood in September.
Carriere, a pastry chef, and Robbins, a nutritionist, describe their first exploratory trip into the village.
“We were coming down into Creemore and it was magical,” said Robbins. “We fell in love with the bakery and discovered it was for sale.”
Both are outdoorsy and say they are all about experiences so they intend to foster an environment of atmosphere and charm.
They plan to serve the good, wholesome food that they love, made with quality ingredients, to create a great overall experience to compliment Creemore’s existing charm.
With a Ukrainian and Polish background, they do plan to include babka and other hand rolled pastries on the menu, in addition to the classics like New York black and white cookies, cheesecake and macarons. They are also bouncing around ideas for specialty workshops (such as gingerbread houses), high teas and game nights.
The name will be changing to Creemore Bakery and Carriere and Robbins are hoping to reopen mid-February, but in what capacity will be dictated by public health measures.
Affairs will close its doors on Jan. 23.