Buns and Things, freshly baked for 36 years
Posted on May 05, 2023 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments
“Buns and Things, quality baking. You’re gonna love our buns and things.” Prince Edward Islanders surely recognize this radio jingle from locally-owned Buns and Things Bakery. What started as a franchise location of another name, has risen into its own brand over 36 years.
Baking the brand
The beginning of Buns and Things Bakery dates back to 1987 when Rob and Elaine DeBlois purchased Bun King Bakery locations on P.E.I. Noticing that performance of the national bakery chain was declining, the couple had to make a difficult decision. Determined to have their Brackley Point Road location succeed, they sold three satellite stores and in the ‘90s ended their relationship with Bun King to rebrand as Buns and Things Bakery.
Rob and Elaine slowly grew Buns and Things over time. In addition to in-store sales, wholesale became a successful part of the business by supplying local hotels and restaurants with bread and other baked goods. In the mid to late ‘90s, they diversified beyond baked goods and added a deli counter to serve sandwiches and hot food. Buns and Things was also the first business on the Island to make bagels from scratch.
Passing the torch
In 2014, Rob and Elaine were considering retirement. At the same time, their son Bill was thinking about leaving Ontario to move back to the East Coast. Seizing the opportunity, Bill returned home to P.E.I. and started working every position in the bakery to learn its operations inside and out. At the beginning of 2017, Bill DeBlois officially took over the family business.
Speaking to the uniqueness of Buns and Things Bakery, Bill commented: “There aren’t many high volume bakeries around that still bake fresh every day. When customers visit our store, they can see their food being made, hear the oven timers and enjoy the unique experience.”
In 2020, Buns and Things expanded to a second location just for cakes. Space at their original location was becoming tight, which made it hard to display all the products the bakery had to offer. So, when a store just a few doors down from their bakery became available, DeBlois decided that it was time to invest.
Known as Cakes by Buns and Things, DeBlois says the location remains dedicated to cakes and select specialty desserts. Although 2020 was a challenging year for all businesses, DeBlois explained that they had already purchased equipment and committed to the storefront, so he saw it through. “It was a good thing”, he added.
Still baking fresh
Today, Buns and Things Bakery continues to bake a variety of bread, pastries and other treats fresh each day. Between both locations, Bill operates the family business along with a team of 35 staff.
DeBlois commented: “We’ve stayed pretty true to what we are; a local bakery not trying to reinvent the wheel. We do what we do and do it well. We’ve had a lot of great support from loyal staff and local customers — it’s why we’re still here.”
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