Erika's Blog

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Thursday March 14, 2019

Traditionally St. Patrick's day or the Feast of St. Patrick, is held on March 17th, the date of the death of St. Patrick, the foremost Patron Saint of Ireland.  A day to celebrate the culture and heritage of the Irish,  the day is observed with a variety of festivities including the wearing of green, parades, drinking of green beer, singing and of course the traditional St. Patrick's dinner of corned beef and cabbage. Green beer during lent? Yes, according to tradition the Lenten restriction on alcohol consumption is lifted for St. Patrick's day.


Who was St. Patrick? Kidnapped and forced into slavery in Ireland at the tender age of 16, St. Patrick escaped only to return to Ireland 17 years later as a Priest with a mission to convert the Irish.  Though we associate the colour green with St. Patrick, his colour was originally St. Patrick's blue. This was  changed to green once St. Patrick was linked to the Irish Independent Movement in the late 18th century.


Join Erika for a traditional St. Patrick's dinner on Friday March 15, 2019. Seating is limited so reserve your spots ASAP.  On the menu, corned beef & cabbage! Did you know there is no "corn" in the traditional dinner? Instead "Corned" refers to the large grains of salt called "corns"  used to cure the meat.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!



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Tuesday March 12, 2019

  

March Break in Muskoka – there is nowhere better to escape with the family and enjoy the amazing amount of snow that has fallen this year.

What to do you ask? Let us help.

The Muskoka Maple Trail is now running. A traditional family event, the Maple Trail features sugar bush tours to fabulous Maple Baked Goods. Speaking of maple baked goods I can smell the wonderful wafting scents of the bakery as I write this - I invite you to join us at Erika’s to sample our new Maple menu featuring hot and cold drinks & of course wonderful baked goodies.  This week's feature drink, Erika's Steamer paired with "The Best Brownie Ever" and a sticker activity book for only $9.99.  Browse Erika's for lot's of Melissa & Doug toys, activities and much more to enjoy this march break.

Horse Drawn Sleigh rides are always popular with the family and there are several operating including the ever popular Back of Beyond Equine Centre and the Twin Maple Farms.

Algonquin Park is a great destination for both memorable and educational activities. Give Fat Biking, Snowshoeing, or Cross Country skiing a try. Take a guided tour or explore the trails on your own.

Prefer downhill skiing? Hidden Valley Ski Resort offers great skiing and snowboarding for the whole family.

World class Deerhurst resort offers many family oriented activities from the Escape Room where families work together to solve a mystery through the use of problem solving, puzzles, codes, hidden clues and hidden secrets, to the petting farm, horseback riding and new – the starlight snowshoe trail.

While in Muskoka take time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this March Break with many local restaurants & pubs offering up unique menus for the day. Be sure to reserve your spot at Erika’s St. Patrick’s dinner taking place on March 15th. See the complete menu and more details here.

Don’t forget the ever popular tobogganing, dog sledding, skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, or shopping in Muskoka’s unique gift stores and boutiques.    There truly is something for all ages and all interests here in Muskoka.  Happy March Break, we look forward to seeing you!

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Thursday March 7, 2019

We've got your sweet tooth covered!

Erika's is proud to be featured on the Muskoka Maple Trail again this year.


Maple sap, the maple tree's natural anti-freeze for the roots in winter, has now made the list of super foods. Tests on the syrup found it to contain compounds which could help manage type 2 diabetes, as we as acting as anti -cancer and anti- inflammatory agents.


Ever wonder how maple syrup came to be? Legend has it that an Iroquois Chief yanked his hatchet from a maple tree where he had left it. Upon doing so, the sweet sap trickled down into a birch bark bowl that was leaning against the tree & the rest is history.


During pioneer days, sugar was a rare commodity, so the idea of being able to source a natural sweetener from the trees on the land was groundbreaking. Today maple syrup is used in a wide variety of sweet and savory treats, drinks and adult beverages.


This year Erika has expanded her maple menu especially for the Muskoka Maple Trail.  Perennial favourites such as Erika's famous Muskoka maple butter tarts, freshly baked maple cinnamon & maple oatmeal muffins, Maple Muskoka Mist & the maple white hot chocolate, will be complimented by the Muskoka Maple Double Double with a maple pecan biscotti, the maple cinnamon latte with a maple sugar cookie on the side, maple bacon, Italian sodas with a maple twist – and so much more.

 

 

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Tuesday March 5, 2019

 

Erika's Team strives to prove leadership in our community and in business. We believe that all learning is an integral part of this process.  Learning is continuous and is something we seek out in order to continue to offer current and quality products to our customers.  Recently when we traveled to Toronto to attend a series of seminars.

The first seminar we attended was presented by Andrew Pyke, a sought after expert in the design community. Andrew believes in keeping up on the new trends and presenting fresh ideas in decorating through the use of colour, fabric, tile, lighting and furniture. Most recently Andrew has been intrigued by how simple yet effective shiplap can be.  Shiplap, according to Andrew, provides small spaces with visual interest without clutter. Certainly this is a trend we see in Muskoka homes & cottages, and is a relatively simple and quick way to update your space.  To read more on Andrew’s insights into ship lap, visit his blog “Shiplap, My New Design Crush” here.

Refreshing a space can be as simple as a can of paint and some interesting design elements. The hottest colours for 2019 were revealed. They included some of the standard colours we see year over year, as well as surprises such as coral and black.  Framing some of your decorating basics such as different metals, wood or leather products with current trends and colour means you can update your space on a budget. 

Colours of the Year:  Paint:  Pantone: Living Coral, Para:  Ginger Scent, Benjamin Moore:  Metropolitan, Sico:  Grand Manan Black, PPG:  Night Watch (Dark Green/Grey), Benjamin Moore:  Oxford White

We also attended a seminar put on by Kelsey Ramsden who was named Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneur two years running and has been recognized globally for building multiple, multi-million dollar business. Kelsey is an engineer by trade, a wife, mother and cancer survivor.   The core of her message was that fundamentally, every successful person is a beginner at every stage, because only those who continue to strive are those who survive in business. It is that simple and that hard.

Designer Cory Christopher seminar resonated with our team. Christopher, a regular presence in the media, with appearances on CTV Edmonton, Global Edmonton, CBC Radio Active and features in news and national print, he encourages everyone he meets to discover their inner creative potential and add a little more beauty to their lives. Christopher’s message was clear: never give up, when you are willing to grow and change with the times and give each customer personal attention you will be successful.

The bottom line to all of this is to have the persistence to continue, don’t give up and keep changing and keep up with what is current in the market and of course always remember the customer.  Make each customer feel special every time they come into your business whether you are selling a cup of coffee, a toy to a child, grandmother, or one of your biggest investments in life your home/cottage or land it is all the same technique.  Our job is to keep current in learning while using our past knowledge and keep adding new knowledge.  Then we need to add the special ingredient of love in everything we do by making the customers feel important and special to us.  Everyone matters it is not just business.

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Tuesday February 26, 2019

  

Our latest Melissa & Doug order has arrived! The courier arrived and so did the boxes, we filled our office and then some! We are sure the staff wondered how many more boxes could possibly come through the doors- and where we were going to put it all, but we did it! Come into Erika’s Bakery and Gift Shop to see our wide selection of Melissa and Doug toys. We carry toys for all ages, starting with newborns. Don’t forget to stock up on crafts, dress-up clothes or puzzles to keep the young ones entertained.  Looking for that perfect stuffy? From the Golden that “guards” our office, to the giraffe peeking out between the toys, Erika has lots of friends to choose from.  Check out some of the Melissa & Doug we received, or come by to see the full selection.

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Tuesday February 19, 2019

  

Erika’s Apple Fritters are a daily staple at the bakery, they even have their own day – “Fritter Friday.”  With requests coming province wide, customers enjoy the flavourful treat with a coffee in the traditional Muskoka bakery or they order to go- often for more than just themselves. The history of the Fritter can be traced back to the Roman’s who introduced the precursor of this delightful recipe to the Europeans.  Called Scriblita this treat was created by frying dough in hot fat. 

First mention of the Fritter in England can be traced back to the 1390’s.  A sweet treat, the term Fritter is derived from the Latin term Frictura, meaning “a fry.” Essentially the term refers to anything coated in dough and fried. 

Today’s Apple Fritter is not anything like the original British Fritter, but has evolved into the sweet, doughy treat we know today. Coated with a thick, sweet icing no one offers a Fritter quite like Erika! Come into Erika’s Bakery & enjoy an Apple Fritter while you catch up on all of the areas local events. 

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Thursday February 14, 2019

  

“It’s important to emphasize the we because it’s always about a tiny team that does something mighty.”

Erika, Tanya & Simone recently attended Michele Romanov’s talk entitled “As we talk about change,” at world renowned Deerhurst Resort in Muskoka. A Dragon on CBC’s hit show Dragon’s Den, Michele is a successful, serial entrepreneur who started 5 companies before her 33rd birthday.  Michele believes “it’s important to emphasize the “we” because it’s always about a tiny team that does something mighty.” 

The Grainger family embodies Michele’s lived experience, “successful people who do what unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do.” Serial entrepreneurs themselves, the Grainger’s operate the immensely popular bakery & coffee shop in the heart of Dwight - “Erika’s.” Within the walls of the bakery customers will often find the family working happily together, Erika’s laughter ringing throughout the building. The positive energy brought by the 3 Grainger ladies readily transfers to the staff who diligently wait on customers. 

Erika’s has welcomed visitors from over 21 countries, while happily servicing the regulars from our community. Weekly regular customers travel from Orillia and Niagara Falls to enjoy the ambiance of the bakery, a great cup of coffee and the outstanding company. 

We invite you to drop into Erika’s enjoy a cup of coffee and a visit with us, perhaps we may even be able to tempt you into a treat. 

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Tuesday February 12, 2019

 

Erika’s Bakery was busy in our community this past weekend. With a private catering job, assisting with the Dwight Carnival and serving our loyal customers , there was not a dull moment to be had.

Saturday in Dwight brought a beautiful sunny day where the Carnival kicked off the morning with the traditional Lions Pancake Breakfast. Real Maple Syrup, sausage, bacon, fruit salad and of course pancakes (yes we even had gluten free!). Erika’s assisted the Dwight Lions club in cooking 133 pancake breakfasts! Colin Winterbottom was awarded the Bob Palmer Award, which recognizes individuals for their dedication and passion in helping to make the community a better place for everyone.

Members of H.O.L.D. chaired the annual chili contest. With entries from local restaurants competing for bragging rights, including the Moose Café & Grill, Route 35, Family Place, the Bears Den, Webster's Beacon and Erika’s, for a small fee members of the community sampled all six entries before casting a ballot for their favourite. Congratulations to Webster’s Beacon for submitting the winning entry for 2019.

Carnival goers enjoyed plenty of outdoor activities including fat biking, snowshoeing, and a favourite of carnival attendees – Battle of the Balls. Combined with educational visits including an opportunity to pet a skunk, the Dwight Winter Carnival was a success with a good time had by all.

Next winter Dwight will celebrate 50 years of the Dwight Carnival. Volunteers or businesses who would like to contribute are always welcome. Please contact Erika’s (705- 635-9490) for more information on how you can give to this worthy family event.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

  

With Lake of Bays Muskoka in the grips of winter experiencing what seems to be non-stop snowfall, many watched Ground Hog day with great interest. Depending on who you are, Wiarton Willie’s prediction for an early spring may or may not have been the news you were hoping for.

Snowmobilers have relished this perfect winter weather, with droves of snowmobilers hitting the many trails in the Lake of Bays, Muskoka area, while others prefer to take in the tranquility of the winter season curled up in front of the fireplace overlooking the majestic Muskoka beauty of snow topped trees and frozen lakes.

The Town of Dwight is preparing for its annual Dwight Winter Carnival set to take place this weekend. Visitors and locals look forward to the annual pancake breakfast run this year by members of the Dwight Lions Club and H.OL.D. of course members of Erika’s Team will be there, so make sure to drop by and say hello. For a full schedule of weekend activities please visit the Carnival website.

Despite the snow Erika’s first Roast Beef dinner of the Year sold out, with all who attended serving up rave reviews. Join us at our upcoming Roast Beef dinners on March 1st, March 29th, or April 26th. Tickets sell quickly so be sure to purchase your tickets in early. For more information on upcoming Erika’s events or roast beef dinners, call us at 705-635-9490 or view our flyer for more details.