The city is a big old place and it can certainly feel like that from time to time, but then something fabulous happens. You run into an old pal from high school days.
We never spoke a lot in high school. We kind of ran with different social groups.
I was a glee kid and he was one of the intellectuals. He was always very nice when we spoke but high school is a funny place and those social groups can really get in the way of some possible great friendships. It was brilliant when we reconnected recently and got to talk about the good old days (or not) and all the mess that was high school. We both agreed it was a lot of grin and bear it. As we chatted he started telling me about something he had found a passion in and I just have to tell you all about.
John started his business called Lil’ Bear Bakery in November 2016.
It all started after baking about 1200 cookies at Christmas time each year and giving them out to his friends, family, and coworkers.
Then John started having people asking if they could order cookies to give out at Christmas.Then amazingly he started receiving cake orders. This was a scary venture to start since he pretty much self taught himself how to do
things. John had never ever worked with fondant before and he felt he was limited with his different icing tips.
He decided to take a few courses at George Brown College. Since then John made birthday cakes for his family and extended family and friends but he is not just limited to cakes and cookies, he makes pies or whatever the order request is.
John got especially excited when telling me about his first request to do his first wedding cake for a gay couple. He has very competitive pricing, wisely to help those that have a very tight budget. This is a side job and stress reliever for John which, we agreed is very much how I see my blog. He doesn’t have a website yet but he is planning on getting on that sooner than later. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, just look for John Hunking @ Lil’ Bear Bakery! You decide for yourself but these treats look brilliant. It certainly was fabulous bumping into you John and I wish you all the success in the world! Mention this article to John and get 10% off on your order until Feb 4th! First order only.
Lil’ Bear Bakery
5 kisses out of 5
Mary Ellen Monk
A word from the editor:
find people are often nicer after high school. Everyone has given up on “fitting in” and they are just living the best possible life they can.
As promised more sexy beards coming your way!
I’m James. I like Cider and I like my local pubs. Chicken Wings Rock. I recently got let go from my job and I learned a tough lesson on loyalty. I am easy going. 2017 was a bit of shit year for me. I’m a construction worker in existential crisis since 1980. Love literature and film. Disillusioned but with a healthy sense of humour. I’m looking forward to good things in 2018. I think Bruce is hilarious. I don’t really like talking about myself and I like my beard but not as much as Bruce does!
Well James, I think you did pretty good. It’s not easy exposing yourself in public so good for you. You have now been added to our first draw for 2018!
This is still my favourite part of my blog. Just me getting out and trying out local spots and telling you how fabulous they are. Sometimes however, they can be not so fabulous.
When I was out this past week getting myself organized to write my first review of the year, I decided to go to Spring Rolls by Thai Pan on the Atrium on Bay Street. It’s not really on Bay first of all, it is on Dundas. Not sure why my receipt said on Bay. Anyway, their all you can eat lunch costs $18.49. I thought a bit much; I’ve been to many sushi places and this price was a bit high for fast food sushi but I thought I’d give it a shot. Most of the time pop is part of the deal. I mean pop is so cheap, why stick it to the guest? And certainly not at $2.29. But I didn’t argue the price. The place looked nice enough so I thought why not. I needed to clean off my holiday palette with a little fresh fish. Sadly, the server was really slow and I watched people who came in after me get their food before I received my soup and a couple of dumplings. The bowl was not even half full and the dumplings were under cooked. And that I’m afraid was the highlight of the meal. There were so many obvious dishes missing that are usual items at other all you can eat sushi bars. I asked the server for sushi pizza for example, a dish that is pretty basic on many sushi buffet menus. He just shrugged and said we offer more dishes at dinner. Which, by the way, they charge over $26.00. I think it’s actually $28!! Of course don’t forget the coke at almost $2.30! It was a very disappointing meal and I’m pretty addicted to sushi, as a bud of mine joked on Tuesday. So really it has to super suck for me to complain. The other thing that really bothered me was the quality of the sushi itself. The rolls were messy and loose and the pieces of fish were shaved like they were trying to stretch it out in fear of running out. It was also embarrassing as my plates piled up on my table. Just bad. My server tried his hand at a joke and so he gets a point for that but generally the experience sucked! Written without prejudice. Try it if you want. It is only my personal experience you know!
1 kiss out of 5
edited by Mary Ellen Monk
January rushes on! It’s been a damn cold winter so far. Hopefully my bearded fellows have been warming you up. Thank you everyone for your submissions! I officially have an orgy of beards submitted and I’m going to do my best to get you up on my blog. In the meantime, keep them cumming! Meet our latest bearded stud.
Hey I’m Franco. I’m a Queer advocate. I’m a terrible singer. I likes old movies and new encounters. I like visiting different cities around the world, spending time with my friends and having a good time with sexy men- in and out of bed.
Welcome aboard Franco! Woof and woof! You are now entered in the monthly draw. Good luck!
Hey Brucesters! To keep with the spirit of my love for beards and my love for artists, here is one sexy fellow you just have to meet. Will Wilson is a 30-year-old Queer artist based in Toronto. He has worked in the photography world for a decade, previously volunteering with TIFVA and TIFF. He has also worked for Henry’s and Vistek, leading photo imaging stores in Ontario. In addition, Will has been a part time actor, as well as a PA for a few reputable and talented casting directors.
After gaining this experience, he has now enrolled at George Brown to continue his studies in photography.
In getting to know Will over time, I learned of some very real losses he has faced over the past three years and he has truly been an inspiration of strength and determination to many friends and fans alike.
I’m definitely a fan and have been personally inspired by him. It is a true force of will as he focuses his love and passion to express himself from behind a lens.
Will is an avid traveller, having ventured to 20 different cities in 2017. Incorporating travel, he is focusing on his career as a photojournalist. Currently his work is being displayed at one of my favourite hot spots in The Gay Village, “Pegasus on Church”. Will has some other venues lined up and I’ll be sure to let you guys know where and when.
Mary Ellen Monk
I really enjoy all your amazing beard pics you are forwarding to me. I especially enjoy all your fun facts. The response for my beard segment and contest is getting an overwhelming response. Thank you for that. I recently had a fellow ask about moustaches. I’ll guve that some thought but fir now it’s all about the beard. Let’s meet our second Badass B.I.T.C Beard of 2018!
Hey everybody! I’m Wayne! Im a dog groomer. I’ve been grooming for 13.5+ years. I’m a huge video gamer, RPGs such as Final Fantasy are my favorite. I enjoy working out. I love baking and enjiy cooking. I’m covered in tattoos and plan on getting many more, of course.
Congrats Wayne. You are now entered in the monthly draw!
Tonights the night! I hope you tune in to a fabulous new show on CTV! Oh so Canadian and oh so exciting! I got a golden ticket to one of the hottest shows hitting the small screen. The Launch! Of course I say nothing about what I saw and all it’s exciting details but I will say. The taping I was at featured one of my favourite artists of all time! Boy George!!!! It was an exciting day for sure and I was one of the lucky few that got to ask Boy George a question during question answer period. He was a gentleman through and through. I never asked him a question but took the opportunity to thank him for building bridges for LGBTQ people around the world through his music and his style! Let the auditions begin!!!
I had another blog planned for today but at the last minute I decided to change my mind. I could have gone with my restaurant review but I’m still coming off of my holiday high and before I rip a local eatery a new one, I thought it might be nice to share one good story about outstanding customer service.
You may wonder why customer service is such an important career to me. Well that’s easy, I’ve been in customer service since I was 18 and I have always tried to give the best service I can. I worked for some tough companies that expect the best and I have always delivered. Sometimes to the point of breakdown which, thankfully has only happened twice in my long and distinguished career. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people pleasers that companies burn out because I’m usually always giving way more then my counter part and yet they still push, push, push. Such is the life of an elf but when I actually experience or hear of some wonderful act of customer service I get excited because the art of great customer service is as cold and dead as the Canadian winters.
But just when you think no one cares out there in retail land you come across a shining light that returns hope to the weary shopper.
This happened to my mom this past Christmas season. We have a pretty new tradition that she started only a few short years ago. I love Christmas tree decorations a lot and so my mom, over the years, has bought me some of the cutest decorations I have on my tree. Well this year she had her sights set on a super cute Wonder Woman tree ornament that Hallmark released. I have several from their collection from John. Yes, I’m spoiled. But anyway, this year to my mom’s dismay the ornament box had been damaged and there was no way she would give a gift in a damaged box. It wouldn’t have bothered me but my mom is a stickler for detail and quality so she told Sue, the customer service ambassador at this particular Hallmark, that sadly she wouldn’t be taking the Wonder Woman tree ornament. Well Sue took my mom’s name and number and said leave it with her. Now typically this is the kiss of death because most people would have filed that under “Garbage” and she would have never been heard from again. But you know this Sue called around to other locations until she found that box or a brand new one since this was her last one in shop that she had. And not long before Christmas this real life customer service Wonder Woman called my mom with the great news that my ornament was ready for pick up. Now this may seem like a small thing to do but at Christmas when I got to open that special little box with my mom at my tree side, it was no small moment. That is what Christmas is all about (well aside from baby Jesus). But you know I’ll never forget that Wonder Woman and I hope Hallmark doesn’t forget her either. She really cared and that meant the world to my mom and it meant the world to me.
Thank you Sue!
Bruce in the City
Mary Ellen Monk
It’s back!! The Badass B.I.T.C Beard of the Week. Our first Fellow is quite interesting and sports one heck of a beard. Let’s meet John!
I play softball, volleyball, bowling, curling, and go to the gym
Hobbies are baking (Lil Bear Bakery), reading, movies, hiking, cooking, music, and theatre
I was Assistant Commissioner of the Cabbagetown Group Softball League (CGSL gay softball league in Toronto) for 2 years and then became Commissioner of the CGSL for 10 years.
I was a Delegate on the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) for 12 years and during that time Fundraising Chair. I was then voted onto the NAGAAA Board as Member at Large and was appointed Assistant Athletic Director for the Gay Softball World Series (GSWS).
I was just nominated for the position of Assistant Commissioner for the NAGAAA Softball Organization
When it comes to movies I like all types from Indy to Horror
I always try to have a positive attitude and look for the best in everyone
For about 6 months I did a daily #ShareTheLove post on Facebook and would pick a friend or family member or organization or some random person and write something positive about that person to maybe put a smile on their face.
I did this in the hopes that they would pay it forward.
There’s too much negativity in the world
I think I’ll have to start this again starting tomorrow.
Now this is one fabulous beard. Thanks John for submitting your photo and super fun facts. You are a catch for sure. Although we are left wondering are you single?
You are now entered in the monthly draw! I gotta try some of your bake goods. I smell a future blog!
edited by Mary Ellen Monk