Love Local, PEI: The Willow Bakery and Café

Jocelyn Thorwaldson is a baker who moved to PEI four years ago from Manitoba. After months of preparations, Jocelyn and her partner Jared Tobias opened The Willow Bakery and Cafe beside the Kensington train station on March 18, 2020, a date they had circled on their calendar for months. What they didn’t expect was it also to be the date that COVID-9 hit PEI. Since they poured everything into their business, Jocelyn and Jared pushed opening their Cafe but switched to serving take-out only.

But their community rallied behind them and supported them throughout the pandemic. “I can’t speak it enough,” says Jocelyn, “because I feel like if we were at a different location, we wouldn’t have been as successful.”

From coffee to vegetables to butter, the Willow Bakery and Cafe uses only the best local ingredients they can. Jocelyn cooks all of the menu items from scratch every morning, meaning she works every day for long hours, which many business owners can relate to. Last year around Thanksgiving, Joycelyn made close to 500 pies by hand. She had to make everything, including the crust, by herself. When it went off without a hitch and everybody had a pie, Joycelyn felt a sense of accomplishment. These memories encourage Joycelyn to persevere through uncertain times.

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