We had the good fortune of connecting with Nikki Garcha and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nikki, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Growing up, a family trip to the grocery store every weekend would be incomplete without dropping a new type of batter mix (or two) into the cart, and of course let’s not forget the frosting and sprinkles! I would bake for every occasion and for no occasion at all. The kitchen was my playground. As I got older, my passion for baking grew stronger, followed by my collection of recipe books, tools, and techniques. A few years ago I began tapping into a topic, extremely close to my heart – inclusive baking. This to me, was developing treats that are allergy friendly, welcoming of dietary choices without compromising taste. Finding homemade alternatives and substitutes and not using things like pre-packaged “egg replacer”. You see, I have 2 older sisters, both with food allergies. My middle sister has had severe food allergies since she was a toddler – not enjoying a piece of cake at a birthday party or celebration, not walking into a bakery and grabbing whatever she wanted because there were no allergy friendly options and little education around allergy-friendly baking – and these were things she wanted to try but couldn’t. The only treats she ever tried from a bakery – were noticeably “different” in taste and texture. And that’s when I knew that my superpower (baking), could make all of her (and the worlds) treat dreams come true! Insert, the birth of re.TREAT T.O – At re.TREAT T.O I find my light and energy in the kitchen – where each ingredient is whipped together for your palate to find sweet zen. My mantra is simple. Baking is my meditative state. I combine my passion for creativity, with my love for the mind, body and soul. There are no borders when it comes to baking, and my treats are handcrafted for taste buds from all walks of life. Your indulging getaway, is my sweet treat!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The most rewarding part of what I do as a baker, is the feedback I receive from my clients. A few weeks ago, I had a returning client (who has a child with food allergies) send me one of the best messages ever. She said “ever since I have been ordering allergy-friendly from you for my events, my eldest daughter has never felt left out or “different”. She looks at me, and I let her know that she can have the treats too, and she is all smiles from ear to ear as she runs to the table with the rest of the kids”. My business has chosen to rise above food allergies and dietary choices. The way I work is with full transparency – whether you are vegan, dairy-free, lactose intolerant, have allergies, or no dietary choices at all – we work together to ensure you feel really good about what ingredients are going in to your treats. Secrets don’t make friends, and there are no secrets at re.TREAT T.O!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in the Greater Toronto Area and there are so many hidden gems and things to do! My list could be never-ending but I will list a few of things:
Drool-worthy Gelato – La Dolce Vita, Oakville
Drinks – Antejo, Downtown Toronto (highly recommend the Guava Margarita)
Spa Day – Touch Massage Bar, Toronto
Cozy Brunch – Villla Caledon Inn, Caledon
Afternoon Pick-Me-Up – Balzac’s Coffee Roasters, Kleinburg
Greasy Guilty Pleasure – Sonny’s Drive-In, Brampton
Shopping – Bloor-Yorville, Toronto and every Homesense, Winners, and Marshall’s in the city!
Girls Night Out Dinner – Myth, Toronto, Piano Piano Restaurant, Toronto, or Amal, Toronto
Vegan Dinner- Planta Queen
Indulging Dessert – Bang Bang Ice Cream & Bakery, Toronto
Movie Night – Landmark Cinemas, Bolton
Beach Day – Goderich
Amusement Park – Canada’s Wonderland
Summer Fair – The CNE
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many but if I had to choose- my wolfpack- my family. They are my biggest cheerleaders and supporters when it comes to balancing a full-time job and a baking business. Forever grateful for their constant love and motivation.