This Is How They Roll - Jay's Sticky Buns
On the 2nd of May 2020, Jay’s daughter Emma asked if they could make some cinnamon buns together. To less than two years later, a thriving business. That is how Jay’s Sticky Buns was born. Jay and Emma started experimenting with different recipes. They then made so many they gave them to their relatives to try. The next you know, their phone starts ringing with people asking if they could get some. So they thought we could try an online business on Facebook for a bit of fun, which proved to be a huge success. From there, they opened their first store in Barrie at 149 Welham Rd Unit #22 a year later in May 2021.
Starting a business during a pandemic might not seem like a recipe for success. But as a family, they decided let’s try it. Make no mistake, this is a family business. Jason, Charissa, daughter Emma, sons Ethan and Evan all contribute to the success. They all work long hours to make the delicious buns. What came out during one of our visits was they are such a tight and loving family. They all have their jobs to do, and they do it with a smile and laughter. Jason is the strategic thinker of the team, the baker, Charissa, Emma the artistic, and Ethan and Evan help to bake and keeps all the shelves full.
The Proof Is In the Pudding (Literally)
This is the first business they have run, so it is learning on the go process. You would never know it. The baking team arrive, Jason, Ethan and Evan are first up at 1.00am to start making the dough, baking and rolling. Then two hours later, shall we say the artistic crew arrives. Charissa and Emma arrive to decorate the buns and bake the cookies. The result has been impressive; the buns are terrific, and the presentation is beautiful. Don’t take our word for it. As they say, “The proof is in the pudding (which they also have) but in this case the buns! So go and try some for yourself. Be careful, though; at Jay’s, you might become a “Cinnaholic”.
The incredible buns and baking is one thing. You also get a welcoming experience when you go to Jay’s. Not one of those “have a nice day” kinds of greetings. What you get is a warm, friendly and sincere welcome. If you are a first time customer, you will be taken aback by the friendliness and atmosphere of their shop. For regulars, the family take time to greet you and to get to know you. Their staff are also treated as part of the extended family, which these days are refreshing, Maria who we met, joined in the flour fight. We talked to customers as they were leaving. I don’t think I have been to a shop of any kind where I have heard such positive reviews. You can listen to it for yourself; click on the podcast at the bottom of the page.
Jay’s Sticky Buns does not stand still on their laurels. Every Saturday, they have a “Featured Flavour” to introduce a new flavour. If it is a success, it becomes a regular bun; this is their market research to see what their customers and Barrie want.
Jay’s are also involved with the Barrie community, for example, on the day we were there. Youth Haven in Barrie were holding their “Coldest Night of the Year” walk. They baked cookies for all the walkers, donated all the cookies’ sales and even their tips to the cause, and raised nearly $4,000.
It took us over an hour of waiting until Jason wasn’t busy serving the steady stream of customers to talk to him. The quote I like was when asked when they close? His answer of three o’clock on Saturday or four-thirty Tuesday to Friday, or until they sell out. They actually have a sign on the door they flip to say closed “Sold Out”. With everything made fresh, they sell out sometimes, so get there before they do if you want to try their sticky buns.
Hit the audio link below to hear our full chat with Charissa, Jay and some of the customers!
Written By: Ian Hendrie
Photo Credit: Veronika Kovecses