Ambrosia Pastry Co., its name, unfamiliar to most outside of the local food scene, is one of Kitchener-Waterloo’s hidden gems.
You won’t find its door open every day, instead plan to get there early on a Saturday morning before their Saturday bake sells out*
*Ambrosia Pastry Co. is also open on Thursdays during the summer for their TruckEatsCoolTreats Food Truck pop up evenings where they sell their in-house, made from scratch ice creams and sorbets.
Also, don’t expect to find it on one of the main streets of the KW area—located down Roger street, at the intersection of Weber St, just before you start entering downtown Kitchener, lies this magical little pastry shop.
You can hardly miss its turquoise blue sign on this little stand-alone building—doesn’t look like much, but like they always say, “it’s what’s on the inside that counts.”
That statement is truly fitting for Ambrosia Pastry Co., as they take “from Scratch Seriously.”
Bean to Bar Chocolate in the heart of Waterloo
Ambrosia is owned by Aura Samara and Tim Simpson, who is the pastry chef and the man behind the amazing pastries you see every Saturday morning.
They are chocolate makers who bring cacao beans to life and beautiful, tasteful creations. Their chocolate bars are made from organic, fair trade, and ethically sourced beans. Each of their bars has a unique flavor, depending on its origin profile.
Not being open every day may have its disadvantages for non-locals of the Waterloo region but it just really speaks to how special this little shop is—and why locals look forward to Saturday so much.
Once you enter through the building’s single white door, you will come across a short staircase, and if you don’t already smell the pastries in the doorway, the smell of freshly baked viennoiserie will definitely hit your nostrils once you get in line.
They make an array of pastries, everything you can imagine, to some things your mind would never think of. Like last weekend’s Local Plum Tarte Tropezienne and past pastries like Raspberry Almond Rose Éclairs.
And they work with local producers (apart from their chocolate beans) to source only the best and seasonal ingredients for their goods.
They often work with Bailey’s Local Food, a Waterloo local business for their supplies of berries—from strawberries to raspberries to blueberries, and so much more!
Local Goodness with a French twist
Something you can always count on them having are their croissants, which are other worldly—they are made to achieve that perfect level of crunchiness and butter taste as you bite down on one of its ends. Pro Tip: If you get there early enough, you might get a hold of their almond or almond chocolate croissants—my absolute favourite!
Their Canelés and Leige Waffles are also another specialty of theirs. As well as their savouries like Kale and Mushroom Mixed Cheese Quiche, Garlic Scape Goat Cheese Tarte, and laminated brioches—Not to mention their specials for the week.
Blueberry Season Delights
There is always something special at Ambrosia and one of this past week’s specials is the reason I am writing this post.
Tim (co-owner & pastry chef) made this intricate and beautiful fruit tart out of fresh blueberries, crystal clear currants with hazelnut cream—it was delicate, light, with an almost melts-in-your-mouth sensation.
And the surprise didn’t stop there. I also picked up two pints of their homemade ice cream, which will make you question what kind of ice cream you’ve been eating your entire life—it’s that good.
When I got there, they were sold out of Chocolate, so I got Vanilla and Blueberry instead—much to my disappointment as I love, love, love chocolate. But nevertheless, I gave the Blueberry a try even though my mother was skeptical on how it would be received by some picky eaters at our dinner table.
However, it turns out we only had ourselves to doubt because everyone thought the Blueberry was amazing!
Its texture was smooth, like the sorbet that it was, with a little tang as you first taste it. The tanginess doesn’t last long as it quickly melted in your mouth and became sweet, just like blueberry jam but icier. As you finish savouring it, your mouth is left with a hint of lemon at the end, making you itch for the next bite.
We paired it up with the tarte and the vanilla ice cream because everything was just too good to pass up.
#Popuppastry like in Paris
Ambrosia makes me feel like I am back in France, strolling down the streets of Paris to find the perfect macaroon for an afternoon treat or a croissant to go with my morning coffee.
It’s truly a special place with treats that don’t only come from the heart, but its ingredients are wholesome and true.
You’ll feed your sweet tooth cravings with any of their Saturday morning bakes and will surely impress any family members and guests at the dining table.
If you are ever by the Waterloo region on a Saturday morning make an effort to venture out of your way to this little, but magical pastry shop—your taste buds will thank you.