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A Look Inside New ‘Tall Shadow Bakery’, Opening Doors on Hastings Street This Week

Tall Shadow Bakery team: Co-owner Stephen Whiteside; GM Annabelle Choi; Co-owner Dayle Kennedy; Pastry Chef Kiko Nakata; Co-owner Cass Helps; Co-owner Miki Ellis // Photo by Scout Magazine

Tall Shadow Bakery is (softly) opening doors at 2474 East Hastings Street in the Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood today (Thursday, May 25th).

Co-owned by first-timers Cass Helps and Dayle Kennedy in collaboration with the experienced duo of Miki Ellis and Stephen Whiteside (Dachi, Mucker Next Door, Hanai, and Elephant), the new bakery and cafe will see longtime Farmers Market favourite, Tall Shadow Breads, take the long-awaited leap into a brick-and-mortar situation. Not only will the space give guests access to their bread on more days of the week, but the team will also be branching out to coffee and pastry.

For some background, here’s an excerpt from the piece I wrote back in February:

You might already be familiar with Tall Shadow from their Vancouver Farmers Markets circuit. Or perhaps you have (wittingly or not) enjoyed some iteration of their sourdough at Their There, Hundy (yes!), Burdy (damn, their eggplant parmigiana sandwiches are good), Hanai (those beautiful purple ube buns), Dachi, or Top Rope Birria. Their bread gets around!

When Helps (they/them) and Kennedy (she/her) took on more wholesale partners, they found themselves outgrowing the limited space afforded by their commissary situation, and they began to think about moving into something bigger. The pair started earnestly looking for a brick-and-mortar solution last year, and when the space on East Hastings (between Kamloops and Nanaimo, across the street from It’s Okay Bar) became available, they jumped into action.

New to the world of starting a brick-and-mortar business, Helps and Kennedy turned to their customers and friends, Miki Ellis and Stephen Whiteside (Dachi, Mucker Next Door, Hanai, Elephant), for some advice. One thing led to another, and the four decided to join forces to bring the Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood a new quality cafe and bakery. Because who doesn’t love good bread?

The team picked up keys to their new home back in December 2022 and began work almost immediately, in early 2023. Previously home to Imposter Café & Provisions – and before that, Black Rooke – the space already had the right layout and was in the right neighbourhood (both Helps and Kennedy live nearby, so they are excited about laying down roots and having more opportunities to connect with the East Van community).

The plan is to divide the roughly 2000 sqft between a production area (for their in-store menu as well as expanded wholesale offerings) and a rustic-yet-modern cafe, imbued with a healthy dose of ‘East Van’ vibes. A bread wall located immediately to the left as you enter the space will give place of prominence to Tall Shadow’s almost 20 types (!!!) of bread. There will also be sweets (more on that later), as well as coffee, tea, and prepared sandwiches to enjoy at one of their no doubt highly coveted 16 seats.

When I toured the space late last week, aside from the full complement of bread destined for the baskets mounted on the wall behind the front counter, the space looked good to go: walls were painted, seating was refreshed, and the room looked crisp, yet comfortable and inviting.

Though fans of Tall Shadow will be stoked to learn that the bakery will offer the sourdough bread, bagels and soft pretzels they have become known for, there are also some new editions to the menu, thanks to the creative energy of Pastry Chef Kiko Nakata. To provide a more complete sense of what’s to come on opening day, the team — which also includes GM Annabelle Choi — had arranged an assortment of baked goods on plates and pedestals along the front counter. What was on these little treat altars? Think flakey fruit filled pop-tarts, impossibly delicious and thoroughly satisfying pizza pockets, a light lemon olive oil cake, and killer sprinkle cookies.

Get a closer look via the visuals below, then check out Tall Shadow in-person ASAP.

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Tall Shadow Bakery
Neighbourhood: Hastings Sunrise
2474 East Hastings Street

There are 2 comments

  1. Congratulations on the opening of your Bakery. Tthe pictures of all the food look so good. It all looks so cheerful and i bet it smells heavenly. Wish I was closer. I wish you the very best success. Grandma Helps

  2. My wife and I were the owners of Black Rook . We developed that location from an empty space into a bakery. Super happy to see what you’ve done with it ( still has some Black Rook flavour too!) Best of luck, can’t wait to try it out.
    Mark Blundell

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