Good news from the Bad Vegans.
This Sunday, Feb. 9, Rose Forgues and Jon Palmer — the dangerous duo behind the delicious treats — will open the doors to Collingwood’s first-ever plant-based, gluten-free bakeshop.
“We owe every little bit of success to this community,” said Forgues. “I don’t know what I would do without the people I know, and without this town. It wouldn’t be the same anywhere else.”
Forgues founded Bad Vegan two years ago, somewhat serendipitously.
After working in the food industry for over fifteen years in some capacity, she developed a passion for helping people — and for sharing her baking creations with her coworkers.
“I’ve baked my entire life and worked in a bakery, but I never thought I could put a price on a cupcake,” said Forgues.
Eventually, after encouragement from a colleague at Bent Taco, she decided to try, commissioning her first cake in October 2017. And she hasn’t looked back.
Forgues and Palmer started attending as many local markets as they could, sharing their plant-based treats and telling their story to anyone who would listen. This past summer Bad Vegan got into the Downtown Collingwood Farmers’ Market and Forgues quit her serving job shortly after.
Now, only two years after selling that very first cake, Bad Vegan will open a brick & mortar bakeshop in the heart of Collingwood, right above the place where it all began — at 48 Pine St.
“This is a dream come true,” she said.
The brightly lit space glows, overlooking all of their favourite businesses. They designed the kitchen so Forgues could “look out at Hurontario all day long.”
The bakeshop will feature a variety of cupcakes every day, as well as a few five-inch “personal-sized” cakes decorated with natural ingredients. All of their treats and sweets will continue to be 110% plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, and dye-free.
With a large, open concept kitchen in the back, Forgues hopes customers will come watch the magic happen, and they plan to expand their retail sales as well.
“I want people to be able to come in, hang out and grab treats like it’s the farmers’ market every day in here,” she laughed.
Forgues and Palmer have also been playing around with offering a simple coffee option, and hope to pair with a local roaster someday.
For Forgues, the best part about it is being able to offer one dessert everyone can enjoy.
“I remember when I got my first cupcake order and the mother listed off all of the different dietary restrictions. When I realized all of the kids could eat the same cupcakes… It was amazing," she said.
Forgues, who has only been vegan for about a year (Palmer considers himself more of a “bad” vegan), started experimenting with plant-based baking almost 10 years ago in hopes of finding healthier alternatives.
“I would bake so much and eat a lot of it,” she laughed. “After baking my whole life, I loved the challenge of playing around and seeing what else would work.”
Since becoming vegan, Forgues has never felt better.
“I had a mission and I decided I wanted to wake up feeling the best I could every day,” she said.
But neither she nor Palmer want to push their beliefs on anybody. With the vast range of coupled allergies and dietary restrictions out there, they just want to create something fun and delicious that everyone can enjoy.
So, Motown and funk music will blast through the speakers every day, and Bad Vegan will offer just that.
“We want it to be a party in here,” said Forgues. “We don’t ask questions, we don’t judge, we just want you to be happy with our cupcakes. That’s our one and only goal: To make delicious cupcakes that you can actually eat.”
But Forgues and Palmer do have some other goals for the future. The duo’s ultimate dream is to open a late-night vegan dessert lounge.
For now, they just want you to continue being bad, in whatever shape or form that is for you. If you are a “bad” vegan and cheat sometimes, think indulging in a sweet treat makes you “bad,” or if you are just a total “badass,” Bad Vegan has something for you.
Because, according to Forgues, bad is good, after all.