success.stories

Junior Baker - The Downtown Sarnia Bakery

April 08, 2013

It doesn’t take long – walk through the doors of Junior Baker and it hits you - the sweet smells of treats baking and a warm greeting from Nicole and John Moore, the couple behind this family business established in 2003 with assistance from SLBDC.  In January of this year, they moved just down the street from their original space that measured only 8 feet wide, which Nicole will confess she misses a bit – in fact at the end of their display case is a photo of a colourful birthday cake – the last one produced in the small shop.  Their current space is triple the size and has cool features like a "family room" ,where their kids can safely play while their parents work away on orders.  They insist we mention that they wouldn’t be working in their newly renovated facility were it not for the support of the SLBDC.

Customer service is more than a buzzword here and there’s proof that others agree.  Last year, they were nominated and won for Outstanding Customer Service at the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce’s Business Achievement Awards.  This year, they are again nominated, this time in the category of Business of the Year (Small Business).  It’s hard work that is paying off.  They listen to and respond to the needs of their customers but going a step further – they anticipate their needs as well.  Junior Baker offers a wide range of specialty items from gluten-free, peanut-free, diabetic-friendly products and can make delicious products that are egg, corn and soya free too.  For these clients, they are proud to be considered a partner in health by providing staples like bread products that make a big difference in their overall nutrition and health.

The proof of the demand is seen in a few ways:  empty display cases & shelves almost every day; many repeat clients; and, in a surprising statistic, over 35% of their business is outside of Sarnia.  Clients in London, Michigan and even as far as Ottawa are Junior Baker devotees.  One regular client even has a signature product named after her – if you want a single layer iced cake for an office birthday… ask for a "Deb" cake.  We can attest that it is delicious and the perfect, guilt-free size for sharing with no leftovers to tempt.

Trends they embraced before the curve is the resurgence of the cupcake and in full sized cakes, "Topsy Turvy" designs like those featured on Ace of Cakes are growing in popularity.  Kids` party cakes are becoming increasingly elaborate – almost in the realm of wedding cakes for complexity.

Though they’re open five days per week, they work seven.  When you ask what they’d wish they’d known before they started their business that surprised them was the higher than anticipated cost of utilities.  Calling or stopping by the shop is still the best way to reach them to place an order for that personal touch you don’t find via e-mail.

What`s next?  One goal is to produce more meal ready options like gluten-free, top and bake pizza crusts; Nicole is looking to host an upcoming "cake challenge" for youth under 15 to introduce some fun decorating concepts.  They will continue to support the community by giving back… they see it as a way to thank those who are supporting their business. Success is sweet at Junior Baker – visit them in person at 165 Lochiel Street in Sarnia, call 519-336-0440, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jr Baker photo