Post by Dominic Maggiolo, Ottawa food philosopher and blogger on vegetarian food and culture. Check out some of his other writings on his blog, Le Jeune Gourmand.
You’re not going to find mustard, relish or ketchup at this street vendor; no stocky polish man yelling at you for not taking the “special” sauce on your hot dog; nor are you going to have gulls taking a swipe at your freshly deep fried golden strips of love. I’m talking about something different, something Ottawa needs: an individual passionate about baking and food, and he’s taking it to the streets.
I had originally written this article as part of a series exposing Ottawa’s street food scene, but was surprised and quite frankly annoyed by the lack thereof. Its seems that, despite being a medium sized city, we are not reaping the benefits of local taco stands, oatmeal buggies, burrito trucks, shaved ices, ice cream mobiles, etc.
However, this does not stop Brad Campeau from producing delightfully interesting street food: a wide variety of mouth-watering homemade cookies that are 100% vegan. His business, the B.Goods Bakery, is almost entirely run in a massive RV/bakery hybrid, which not only looks cool but runs extremely well.
You can instantaneously taste the love within his cookies. Among the few that I’ve devoured: Spelt Molasses Ginger, Whole-wheat Chili Chocolate and Whole-wheat Chocolate Chip. The cookies are sweet, but not too sweet, moist, malleable, perfectly dense, and NOT cakey. With their signature dipped-in-sugar-on the-one-side, it goes without saying that these cookies were perfectly thought out.
About a month ago, I was able to see a demo done by Brad at Ottawa’s VegFest and was surprised by the way he approached baking. He’s assertive and I immediately saw he knew what he was talking about. A true public speaker with a charismatic approach to creating his cookies, Brad’s vegan baking demo was inspirational and made it seem extremely user friendly. While he did, however, restrain from divulging all of his secrets, nonetheless he gave a few informative tips .
I think it’s safe to say that tracking down B.Goods should be on everyone’s to-do list this summer. Brad is often found at most local events and farmers markets, or you can hunt for his cookies at many local stores. I had a chance to talk to him numerous times and came up with a quick profile of his business, locations and motivation.
Name (your business): B. Goods Bakery
Vendor: Itinerant food vendor and wholesale cookies supplier
What can we find on your menu? Six months of the year (November – April.) I operate primarily a wholesale cookie business. We offer 10 varieties. The complete list is available on our blog under the tag “varieties“. During the other six months we operate the mobile bakery at festivals and Main Street Farmers Market. We have all cookie varieties as well as our (FTO) fair trade organic coffee and hot chocolate, organic teas and sodas. We also carry other companies’ products that are similar in quality to ours during festivals.
Hours? Main Street Farmers Market runs every Saturday from May 8th until October the 30th. 9 am – 2 pm. Each festival is different.
Locations? A complete list of our retail accounts or vendors is listed on the blog under the tag retailers. He’ll also be at many of the festivals around town, including Rideau canalfest (July 30-Aug 2), Folk fest (August 13-15) and Pride (August 29).
How long have you been street fooding? I began operations in July of 2007 and tried to do street side vending, (however) there are lots of bylaws and complications. The extent or our retailing now is festivals, markets, and special events.
Why use a mobile business, rather than the conventional permanent location? The ability to own my building. The flexibility of not needing to make the high rents, allow for a seasonally busy business. The excitement of it from my perspective and the perception of the public are positive. Allows me to vend at festivals.
So what made you decide to do this? What were you doing beforehand?
I have wanted to own my own bakery since I was 19 and made the decision in early May that I was as financially ready as I was ever gonna be and left me job as grocery manager of the local Italian food store La Bottega.
You can contact Brad Campeau at b.goods_at_rogers.com or by phone at (613) 882-0923. Check out his website at http://www.bgoods.ca