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Alliston bakery wins Best Butter Tart, business has never been sweeter

June 28, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

Best. Butter Tart. Ever.

Carriage House Bakery of Alliston has perfected the recipe for the best butter tarts in Ontario, and people are paying attention.

Winning First place – Overall best in Show, plain butter tart entry; First Place, Professional Traditional Butter Tart, plain butter tart entry; and Fifth Place, Wild Style Category, maple blueberry butter tart – at the Ontario Best Butter Tart  Festival on June 8, in Midland, Carriage House won’t give up their secret recipe, but will say it’s all about balance.

Since the win, the local bakery cannot keep the tarts on the shelves, so best to order ahead if you want to taste them for yourself!

Greg Young, owner of Carriage House Bakery, took 42 of each flavour tart to the competition, with judges looking for a balance of pastry to filling, and sweet versus savoury moments on the palate.

“The judges said the balance of our tarts was perfect,” Mr. Young told The Times on why he won. “[They were also looking at] cooking duration so everything was caramelized nicely and the flakiness of the pastry.”

Young said his customers encouraged him to participate in the competition.

“Since the beginning of Carriage House Bakery, our customers were very vocal with regards to the butter tarts and many have encouraged us to enter. We learned that there are a lot of ‘butter tart connoisseurs’ in our area who have attended the festival and who have apparently tasted many tarts over a long time and continually we were told by them that ours were superb and could win. Getting closer to spring, more were asking if we would enter, so we did. This is the first competition we have entered.”

At the Festival, 12 preliminary judges blind tasted every tart, and chose winners for each category. The top four winners from each category advanced to the next level, where judges once again blind tasted everything, and chose the Best in Show and overall winners.

Carriage House Bakery was started by Samantha Young, Greg’s daughter, who graduated from Guelph with a BCOMM in February 2018.

“She always wanted to have a bakery,” said Young. “Samantha opened Carriage House in April 2018, and it was an immediate success in Alliston and surrounding areas. Halfway through the year an unexpected change occurred when her fiancée applied to the RCMP, and was successful in graduating and was stationed in Alberta. Samantha left with him in May this year to begin their life together so we worked together for a few months and I took over the bakery. I had been the bread baker from the beginning of the bakery and had worked on perfecting the butter tart recipe for her. There is a picture in the bakery of Samantha when she was five designing her first cupcakes for her future bakery. Who knows, maybe Carriage House will have a Western branch one day.”

Carriage House offers a range of traditional baked goods such as biscuits, blueberry lemon scones, raspberry almond scones, a variety of large cookies, loaves, carrot cakes, gluten free options, fruit hand pies, etc., on a daily basis.  

“We also have a custom cake and cupcake business and make a wide variety of custom pies to order,” said Young. “We also offer trays of baked good for meetings and events.”

Business at Carriage House has continually increased since the win at the Butter Tart Festival.  

“The first day after the win we sold over 300 butter tarts in the first hour. We have been selling out daily so will be figuring out how to increase production as business continues to grow,” said Young on the impact. Adding, “We are considering changes for the future but have not decided on anything yet. We definitely are interested in future festivals, markets and have some creative ideas ruminating but customers may have to wait a little longer to find out. We are excited about what is to come for sure.”

On behalf of the Young family, Greg also said, “We are thankful for the community’s support since we opened and how much New Tecumseth and area residents have embraced supporting local, fresh daily made products. It is important to us to have a high quality made fresh from scratch product with no preservatives. We use local products as much as we can and all our butter is from Alliston Creamery and David Kennedy has been very supportive of us.  We have sourced flour from K2 Mills and sell local honey in our store. We are looking at expanding this focus on local in the future. Supporting small independently owned local businesses is important to us. 

“We hire local staff and have supported many high school students from Banting in our one year as it is important to support employing local youth were possible. The ‘Little Bakery that could…DID!’ We are proud to be a contributor to our local economy both as an employer and in offering reasonably priced, high quality baked goods and custom cakes for our community to enjoy. Thank you to all who have helped us in our first year.”

For more about Carriage House Bakery ‘Like’ them on Facebook.


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