January 08, 2010
Bonchaz Comes To Hastings Street
Following the example of JapaDog, it seems another popular food vendor is coming in off the streets.
Up until now, Bonchaz, a bakery franchise that produces the Bonchaz coffee buns, has managed without a retail store in Vancouver, initially content to tour around the lower mainland exhibiting at trade shows, festival events and farmers markets. However, as of February 2010, the bakery will be operating out of a new permanent location next to Sikora Classical Records at 426 West Hastings Street (the site of the first CIBC bank in Western Canada).
What's a coffee bun you ask? Well, it's a baked good similar in size to a cinnamon bun, but made of sweeter dough, and with a melted butter and sea salt filling (or banana walnut, or vanilla ice cream). All capped with a crisp, golden brown, cookie-like topping, that when just out of the oven, delivers an aroma similar to that of freshly brewed espresso.
And that's appropriate, as the item is intended to be the kind of light snack (like a jelly donut) that one might eat on the run along with one's morning cup of coffee.
Although designed for North American tastes, it's a bit of a cultural hybrid. The sweet dough and the name of the product were derived from a popular Mexican pastry known as the ‘ conchas ’ (sweet bread). The melted butter is similar to a French croissant, while the topping was inspired by the popular Chinese pineapple bun.
Company president, Michael Lui says his target consumer is a 24-year-old social extrovert with readily disposable income. Which probably explains why the bonchaz already has a growing fan base on Facebook . At the various day markets the buns have been selling like ... well, hotcakes. Not only because over 400 of them have been known to fly out of a kiosk in a typical four hour session, but because they are baked on-site, to order, and served up fresh and hot.
"Freshly Baked. Before your eyes!" is the company logo.
426 West Hastings Street
Mon - Fri: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.