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Tiffany Pratt’s Picks for 5 Bakeries That Should Go Viral on Social Media

Tiffany Pratt smiles at the camera

These days, social media is a big part of any business no matter what you’re selling. When it comes to bakeries and restaurants, however, word of mouth on platforms like Instagram and TikTok can be the difference between a successful eatery and a struggling one.

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“People are always trying to tell the viewing audience where to go. Everybody on TikTok is now an expert,” says designer and Project Bakeover co-host Tiffany Pratt. “I find it fascinating that when you’re on TikTok, the whole idea is finding these destinations feeling like you’re Columbus and you discovered America.”

Related: Steve Hodge’s Vegan Chocolate Blueberry Bonbons

Setting up the space

On Project Bakever, Pratt and co-host Steve Hodge are always driving home good food and a great atmosphere. Both of those are key factors when it comes to social media success as well: saliva-inducing food and décor that makes you want to snap a photo or create a video are no-brainers.

“Social media is [mostly] a visual medium,” says Pratt. “People are compelled by images. Oftentimes with the bakeries, it’s not just the food people are excited by. It’s if the food has been staged on beautiful plates on a gorgeous table, with really beautiful light and it’s designed in a certain way. Or it’s about a compelling wallpaper or a feature wall, or the takeout packaging is so cute, or a façade is an awesome place where you can sit with your friends and take 1,000 selfies,” she continues.

“Maybe there’s a back patio with a one-of-a-kind experience or the bathroom has something hilarious you want to take a picture of. All these visual design elements are things that can appear on social media, that garner your bakery that attention other bakeries don’t have unless the design is at the forefront.”

Related: 5 Expert Food Photography Tips to Show Off Your Baked Goods

Outsourcing when needed

When it comes to managing a bakery’s social media accounts, Pratt says who should be in charge completely depends on the type of establishment in question. She says if the owners just want to be in the kitchen they would definitely benefit from hiring someone younger who is excited by social media to help amp up their accounts. But there’s still something unique about hearing from the people at the heart of it all, too.

“It’s awesome to hear right from the bakery owner’s mouth,” she says. “What’s on the menu this week, or the new chairs you got for the space, or putting those final touches on the outdoor tables. One thing Project Bakeover really taught me is there are so many different types of bakeries, types of owners, and so many different types of ethnicities and genres. It’s unbelievable how different people interact with a space, based on its owners and the direction they want to take the food.”

Five bakeries that should go viral

When it comes to bakeries, Pratt has a few ideas about which ones have the potential to go viral. From cool pattern plays to unique menu offerings, here are her top picks.

Mrs. Joys Absolutely Fabulous Treats

Address: 1008 Commerce Street, Lynchburg, Virginia

Pratt is a big fan of Tarsha Joyner’s baked goods, particularly her cinnamon rolls, which she says are “bigger than your head.” But Pratt also loves all the pattern play and design elements featured in the bakery. “It’s got all the moving parts. It’s got a compelling environment, but it’s got food that’s memorable and tastes delicious,” she says.

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Lazy Daisy’s Cafe

Address: 1515 Gerrard Street, Toronto

This farm-to-table bakery is all about seasonal, homemade biscuits, spreads and baked goods. The family-run establishment also consistently makes many of the city’s Best Of roundups. “The focus is buttermilk biscuits, breakfast sandwiches and any kind of little downhome treat, like salted caramel brownies and butter tarts,” Pratt says. “So you’re thinking of everything you want from grandma’s house or a country bakery.”

She adds that she’s also partial to the shop’s latest design, which is all about helping to draw in that social media crowd. “We have like seven-foot daisies that have been mounted to the wall,” she reveals, adding there are bright yellows and greens that really help the place pop even more.

Piano Piano

Address: 88 Harbord St., Toronto (other locations include 623 Mount Pleasant, Toronto and 120 Thomas St., Oakville, ON)

Sure, Piano Piano is technically a restaurant, but it’s one that’s known for its incredible pizza crust, which kind of falls into the bakery category. “People come from miles around to order that pizza,” Pratt says.

She also reveals the best way to interact with customers on a social level is by creating an experience for them before they even walk through the doors. Façade is everything, and a bright, memorable building is a great way to build interest. In that vein, each of Piano Piano’s locations feature brilliant signage and beautiful murals. “Before anyone’s ever walked through the door of that space, they know where they’re going,” Pratt adds.

Jenn and Larry’s Ice Cream Shoppe

Address: 49 York St., Stratford, ON

This ice cream shop, which has been a Stratford staple since 1967, is also known for its signature malted shake. Inside, there are bright colours and a signature label that goes out on all the products, which really gives you that old-school, ice cream vibe.

“They maximize colour, they have history, but more than anything, they’re backed by a kitchen and people that really love food,” Pratt says.

The Shoppe is also successful in the winter thanks to its popular brittle and other candies. “They actually do brittle and all kinds of Christmas things in the wintertime,” Pratt adds. “It’s all those old-school types of treats you come to expect, peppermint bark or brittle. That’s what they sell out of every single year. And they make like pounds and pounds and pounds of it. Then come summertime, they specialize mostly in ice cream because that’s just the demographic.”

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Tori’s Bakeshop

Address: 2188 Queen St. E, Toronto

This plant-based bakery has been a neighbourhood staple since 2012, with vegan products produced using as little waste as possible and carefully sourced seasonal ingredients from local farms and businesses. “It has the quintessential green door and it’s got this Victorian feeling,” Pratt says. “It makes you feel like she opened up a big shop in a house. But then she’s also curated like awesome juices, and she’s got great sandwiches and baked goods. People come from miles around to get her vegan doughnuts. Me, I’m a die-hard for her breakfast cookie.”

Aside from amazing products and beautiful décor, Pratt notes this spot knows how to kick up excitement with recurring seasonal items, which are always a social media hit.

“They do a cream egg every Easter and it’s to die for,” she reveals. “Every year you have to get in while the getting’s good for her cream eggs. They’re vegan and they’re gluten-free. She’s got all the things covered for people like myself with snowflake allergies.”

 

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Related: What Baking Ingredients Are Best to Buy for Home Bakers

Watch Project Bakeover Thursdays at 9ep and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV, Corus Entertainment’s premium multi-channel streaming service, which is now available to Rogers Ignite TV and Ignite SmartStream customers, in addition to Amazon Prime Video subscribers.