Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tarts Bakery

There are plenty of popular bakeries that offer cake, tarts, pies, macarons etc. However, Tarts Bakery specializes in only tarts. The bakery is located on West Broadway in Vancouver and is founded by two sisters who share the passion of baking.

Walking in on a weekday afternoon, the store was empty and the owner sat by the counter. As I approached the display of tarts, she immediately stood up but did not say a word. So to break the silence, I mentioned I was browsing in case I was keeping her from something. However, my weak attempt to break the silence did not work because she did not say a word to me and I felt even more awkward. Perhaps I should have asked her about the tarts...

Tarts Bakery offers mini tartlets which is a great way to sample all the flavours and runs from $1.75 to $1.85, or 3 for $4.95. As for the regular sized tarts, the prices range from $4.98 to $5.95. In addition, soup, salad, cold drinks and hot drinks such as tea, coffee, along with hot chocolate are available.

I went for the raspberry macaroon as well as the lemon tart, which is when the owner broke the silence and asked if I wanted to select a third because one tart costs $1.75. At the time, I was not sure how much I was saving but decided why not? So rather than going for the chocolate mousse for a variety, I played it safe and chose something I would like, the butter pecan.

After selecting the tarts, she asked if I wanted a drink and without wanting to feel awkward that I rarely drink tea or coffee and my preferred choice of bottled water was not available, I ordered soup. As I noticed her grabbing the soup from a take out container and grabbing a box for the tarts, I mentioned the meal would be for here and proceeded to the counter.

This where my OCD kicks in. For a business to declare themselves as two sisters who share the passion of starting a business and creating a product because the quality or selection was not what either of them craved for, I expected an inviting atmosphere and a cute dainty interior (the shop is cute though). But instead, I walk into an unenthusiastic owner and the sink as well as the preparation area was filled with dirty plates. I even felt guilty for being the cause of her having to wash the dishes because I ordered my meal for here rather than to go.

Lemon tartlet, "a deliciously tangy classic with fresh lemon juice and citrus zest" ($1.75) and Butter Pecan Tartlet, "a creamy, butter filling combined with crunchy pecans" ($1.75).

Starting with the lemon, the filling has a nice tartness and not too much to make one cringe. There is also a nice level of sweetness and a smooth jelly consistency. Following, the pecan tastes great. The filling does not taste too sweet and there is a good amount of crushed pecan, where every bite has a soft crunch. In addition, none of pieces of pecan taste too soft and the quality in the tartlet is not compromised because of the sample size. As for the crusts, it is buttery but not that flaky.

Raspberry macaroon, "a decadent blend of sweet raspberry preserves and luscious coconut" ($1.75).
The last tartlet is the raspberry macaroon. The tartlet is topped with shredded coconut before it is baked which I prefer, rather than sprinkled after baking. The filling has a nice raspberry jam flavour and does not taste too sour nor sweet. Also, the crust is noticeably a lot flakier and crisp, compared to the other tartlets. Perhaps the tartlet is more fresh? The crust tastes great.

The soup arrived very hot (nothing worse than warm microwaved soup) and she asked if I needed salt n' pepper. The ingredients include rice, carrot, celery as well as corn, and this batch did not seem to have any chicken. As for the broth, there is a nice golden color but the flavour is very weak. However, I did not mind the soup because I prefer clean eats and rather have this than an overly salted one.

Finishing up my late breakfast is the pecan tart. The filling tastes noticeably sweeter because there is more compared to the tartlet, and the crust tastes a lot better. The crust tastes more fresh compared to the first couple of tartlets as well as flakier, and there are plenty of layers. However, I found the pecans soft and the ones in the tartlet are crunchier. Regardless, the highlight is definitely the crust.

TOTAL: 15.60.

All in all, Tarts Bakery specializes in only tarts and the tartlets are a great way to sample every flavour. Also, nothing tasted too sweet. However, I wish a fruit or cheesecake option was available at the time and when I inquired, the fruit was prepared but she had not made the tarts yet :(. 

As for my experience, I always expect a warm and inviting feeling whenever it comes to a small family business. A greeting would have been nice when I entered the store or an "enjoy" after purchasing. However, she did respond "thank you" after I dropped off the finished plates at the counter and said thank you first. Personally, I guess I just expect too much when it comes to family businesses.

- Made from scratch and tarts are heated before serving
- Nothing tastes too sweet and the flavours are there
- Cute interior and nice display of tarts

- Some crusts and fillings are better than others
- Staff could be more enthusiastic

- Tarts Bakery offers a stamp card system and I am big on those! However, personally if I find something average, I usually only revisit if the staff was friendly. There are really too many average places available and this is where customer service comes in play

Food: 2.5/5 (the better crusts are 3.5/5)
Service: N/A

Tarts Bakery on Urbanspoon


  1. I agree to support small businesses but the owners are not like before. They were proud of the shop years ago and now it seems like a job. The prices have lowered and are more reasonable but still expensive. If you have to, the sweet tarts are better than the savoury selection. FYI the stamp card is only for a bag and not a free tart

    1. Oh whatttt! I thought it was for a free tart or tartlet LOL. Is it a nice bag… haha.

      I would have been happy with a simple "enjoy the tarts"



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