Jacquie Poirier Forster, left, and her sister Jillian opened Jac & Jill’s Bakeshop in Centennial Plaza

By Kathy McGrath

When you enter Jac and Jill’s Bakeshop you can’t help but feel a little cheerier. The pink floor, colourful balloons and party products create a fun vibe that hints at the goodies inside. The new shop, located in the east corner of Centennial Plaza, is owned by sisters Jacqueline and Jillian Poirier Forster.

“Jillian designed the whole place,” Jacqueline said. “I do the recipe development and baking, and she pretty much does everything else, including website design and marketing.”

The sisters’ attention to detail is evident in the appealing display of squares, cookies, macarons and whatever tantalizing items Jacqueline is inspired to make. Today it might be cheesecake, tomorrow it could be pies. The shop includes an open kitchen where customers can watch the baking in progress.

Adding to the fun, the sisters plan to offer ice cream in the summer out of their back door, which faces Port Union Road. “We’ll have a take-out window and we want to put a couple of standing bar tables outside for better visibility,” said Jacqueline.

The Poiriers already have a regular customer base from years of attendance at farmers markets and boutiques in Scarborough and Durham. Now customers will be able to walk into the storefront and find the same items, which are made from scratch using quality ingredients. (Only butter, no lard!)

For special celebrations, customers can still order Jac & Jill’s buttercream party cakes through their website. Cake cups and lunch box cakes will be available in store.

“We grew up on Clappison Blvd, so it honestly felt full circle when we were able to open a store at our local plaza,” Jacqueline said. “The response has been amazing – we’ve had a real mix of customers. Our regulars are coming in with their kids, new clients, and more men than we thought. We’ve pretty much been sold out since we opened.”

Jacqueline, who worked for years out of her family home and later from a unit in Mississauga, said she comes from a long line of bakers. “My granddad was a baker and he taught my mom to bake and she passed it down to me. I still have some recipes, like carrot cake, handed down from my grandad.”

While they took different paths after high school – Jillian studying art and design and Jacqueline studying baking and pastry arts – the sisters combined their talents soon after graduating. Jillian’s design skills are apparent as the cake decorator.

Their original plan was to open a shop in early 2020, but the pandemic put a hold on that. Two years later, they felt it was a safe time to make their dream a reality. “It’s been all hands on deck,” said Jacqueline. “Our friends and family have all helped out. We couldn’t have done it without their support.”

Find them on Instagram, Facebook and through their website jacandjillsbakeshop.ca. December store hours are Wednesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the possibility of extended hours on Fridays.