Inspiring Olivia (IO) Bakes is a new local business that sells treats and pastries made in a commercial kitchen.
The bakery launched in December and is committed to providing nut-free desserts.
“It started because I have an allergy to nuts and a lot of bakeries I find it’s may contain, and they can’t promise absolutely no nut contamination,” said owner Olivia Lam.
The business has begun to sell themed treat boxes. IO Bakes has sold four different boxes so far which include items like cupcakes and danishes.
“I started treat boxes for Lunar New Year in February this year, so that was the very first one,” Lam said.
Valentine’s day, International Women’s Day and now Easter are the other occasions Lam has curated treat boxes for.
“Valentine’s Day, our boxes sold out very quick, I’m gonna say within two hours,” Lam said.
Lam said that with Easter coming up she is just as busy. Lam’s Easter treat boxes, as well as mini-egg biscotti, have completely sold out as well.
“I guess people are looking for baked treats but like not commercial sized baked treats for their friends and family and loved ones,” she said.
Through her bakery, Lam said she has been able to connect with other small businesses in Ottawa.
“I try to include one item from a local business in each treat box each month, so that they can get that sort of exposure,” Lam said.
“Then it makes it a little bit more fun, you have something you can keep rather than just all the things that you can just consume and then they’re gone,” she added.
The Easter treat boxes included a fresh bouquet of tulips from a local florist to fit with the theme and coincide with springtime.
Following the interview, Lam explained that she does her best to use locally sourced ingredients for her baked goods and will often reach out to local farmers.
Lam hopes to eventually expand IO bakes into accommodating other dietary restrictions such as gluten, vegan, dairy free or egg free options.
Olivia Lam's bakery Instagram can be found here.
Here is Olivia Lam speaking with CHUO: