Nothing beats freshly baked goods, but Kitchen Island really takes it up a notch with their beautiful high-quality pastries, breads and other treats. Part of the Kitchen Collective on King St E, next time your craving a treat for yourself or something special for your next gathering, don’t miss out on this Hamilton gem.
Tell us about yourself and your business.
Hi – I’m Alex! I am the owner and pastry chef of Kitchen Island, a small, ingredient-focused bakeshop in Hamilton, that offers fresh high-quality pastries.
Here at Kitchen Island we are committed to high-quality food but without pretension. We provide a beautiful and inviting physical space that truly serves its community’s needs. And we are defined by the authentic warmth and care of our hospitality, with an innate old-world touch.
What brought you to baking?
Home-cooked meals and fresh baked goods were the staples of my childhood. Amidst busy careers, my parents never compromised on meals. My mom woke early every morning to cook us lunch before work and would phone to make certain I’d eaten something after school. It was obvious to us that food was the everyday currency of love in our home. This connection between food and love was so constant and genuine that I inherited it almost as wholly as I did my parents’ genes. There is little wonder, then, in how I came to a career in hospitality.
When someone visits Kitchen Island, how do you want them to feel?
Our kitchen is the heart of our home; our island is the heart of our kitchen. The kitchen island furnishes many of our labours of love, it’s where we nourish, commune with, and care for our family and friends. With this in mind, I named my business after the heart of hearts of my home. My philosophy is centered on caring and carefulness: I care for each pastry I make and I’m careful in my methods and business practices, as a way of caring for you. Kitchen Island is a name that I hope will continually remind my guests of the commitment that I have made to prioritize love and caring in all that we produce, as if you were sitting in my home, at my kitchen island.
You’re a member of the Kitchen Collective on King St E, tell us more about that.
We, The Kitchen Collective, are a non-profit, affordable commercial kitchen and culinary incubator designed to give aspiring entrepreneurs a boost in the industry as well as a collaborative space in which to launch their businesses and learn from each other. As a cooperative, the Collective is owned and operated by its members, ensuring that the services provided are always in line with the needs of the membership. I know that without this unique space, I wouldn’t be able to start this business.
What are your favourite products on the menu right now?
It is so hard to pick only a few. I love them all, they are my kids 🙂
My current top 3 are:
Everything Bagel Croissant – croissant dough filled with cream cheese and everything bagel seasoning.
Chocolate and tahini brownies – There is something magical in this flavour combination of dark chocolate and tahini. These brownies have the perfect balance between cakey and gooey texture and sweet and umami flavors.
Cinnamon Twist – Chewy, crunchy, gooey, salty/sweet, spicy heaven.
Besides your own place, where else do you like to eat in Hamilton?
Hamilton has an amazing restaurant and food scene! I apologize in advance for not mentioning ALL my favourite places. Noodle And Dumplings, on King St, is one of my family’s favourite places to grab dinner. They have no social media and not even a website. Their dumplings are just the best!! I also love Born and Raised, Sunny Corner Bar, and Saint James.
Any advice to small business owners wanting to open up shop in Hamilton?
Yes! Reach out to other small businesses, ask questions, and take every opportunity you can to learn from others experience. Collaborate. I can’t highlight enough the benefit of collaborating. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, they are unavoidable. But when you do make them, learn from it.