Erin Eire’s Legendary Banana Bread Set the Stage for Vancouver’s Favourite Vegan Bakery 

For so long as Erin Eire can bear in mind, she has adored animals and ardently sought out scrumptious meals, but it surely wasn’t till virtually 10 years in the past that her two best passions harmoniously collided.

Now, the proprietor of To Live For, a brand new plant-based bakery & café, she is dedicated to channeling her love for all dwelling issues into creating vegan pastries and making them as accessible as doable to her native Vancouver neighborhood. 

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Starting her profession as a meals reporter whose suggestions suited carnivores far more than the plant-based neighborhood, Eire garnered a considerable readership and following on social media lengthy earlier than her vegan values emerged.

Throughout this time, she additionally kick-started her baking journey: crafting the primary recipes for her now-legendary banana bread and lemon loaves, buying house in a commissary kitchen, and attracting over 70 wholesale prospects. 

For the love of animals

On the age of 30, Eire’s journey to a dairy farm for a piece project and her subsequent viewing of Shaun Monson’s Earthlings introduced her to an moral standstill. After witnessing the behind-the-scenes actuality of animal agriculture, her animal-lover instincts and meat-heavy food plan had been out of the blue, essentially, and painfully at odds. 

After months of grappling with how one can align her newfound values together with her rising on-line viewers and baked items firm, Eire determined to attempt a stealthy method. First, she fell quiet about her wholesale treats on-line and went to work adjusting her recipes. 

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As soon as she’d efficiently rid them of animal merchandise, Eire merely emailed her distributors to inform them she’d made “some modifications” and to “see connected” relating to the brand new recipes. “No person requested any questions; I didn’t lose any prospects,” she says. 

From there, Eire’s passionate perception in plant-based baking took maintain, and the seeds for To Reside For Bakery & Café solidified their roots. 

Bakery and past

When strolling into Eire’s vibrant and bustling East Vancouver house, prospects are greeted by a heartwarming wall-sized mural of two rescue cows. “They’re why we do what we do,” Eire says, reminiscing about that first journey to a dairy farm. Befittingly, the café’s to-go cups are printed with a graphic of a cow and Eire’s rescue canine, Effie, that prompts: “Why love one, however eat the opposite?” Eire’s highly effective vegan ethics are grounded in care, neighborhood, and anti-speciesm, and he or she prides herself in training precisely what she preaches. 

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The mom of two rescue canines in addition to two younger kids, Eire warmly refers to To Reside For’s brick-and-mortar as her “fifth youngster.” “Once I’m not right here, I wish to be right here,” she says. 

Since opening up store, she has devoted herself to being as current as doable in its progress—fairly actually, as she’s within the bakery recipe testing, cake adorning, studying to be a barista, creating social media content material, and serving prospects virtually day by day since opening.

What does a day within the lifetime of such a busy, plant-powered superwoman appear to be? Although she admits she loves spontaneity and embraces days which might be “stuffed with surprises,” Eire states she has come to cherish probably the most customary duties and moments in her day by day routine.

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6:30am to 9am: The bakery is just about at all times on her thoughts, Eire confesses, however when she first wakes up, her priorities are getting herself and her youngsters prepared for the day and ensuring her two pups, Effie and Suri, get in a very good stroll. 

“I’m such a morning individual,” Eire professes. “For years I’d stand up tremendous early to go for a run, go to a espresso store, and be residence earlier than my companion wakened … now life is completely different.”

“I’m embracing slower mornings due to how treasured this time is with my youngsters—watching them get up is considered one of my day’s highlights.”

Each morning, Eire whips up her personal tackle a London fog tea sweetened with a wholesome dose of maple syrup and a beneficiant splash of Earth’s Personal Barista Oat Milk. For her youngsters, it’s time for three-ingredient pancakes or “daddy avocado toast”—avocado and tofu mashed collectively on toast. 

9am: After dropping off her six-year-old daughter Roen at college, Eire spends the morning with River, her three-year-old. As soon as per week, Eire arms off her youngest to the grandparent-on-duty for additional bonding time earlier than she’s dropped off again on the bakery. 

9:30am to 2:45pm: If it’s not considered one of her two days off (or it’s, however somebody on her workers wanted their shift lined), Eire arrives on the bakery and instantly shares a video on Instagram of the cake fridge and the pastry counter, stocked with the day’s scrumptious choices. 

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Subsequent, she checks in with the bakery and front-of-house groups, replies to @tolivefor.bakery’s Instagram messages and Google evaluations, has conferences with the bakery’s managers, and begins helping prospects.

3pm: Eire vacates the bakery briefly to go choose up her eldest daughter from college, then heads straight again so each women can get pleasure from their favourite snack. Proper now, it’s a ache au chocolat for Roen and a cake pop for River.

4pm: The entire household heads residence and Eire begins excited about dinner. If it’s an order-in type of evening, her favourite restaurant in the meanwhile is Aleph Eatery. “They do wonderful Center Japanese meals,” she raves. “I like ordering their shish kebab bowl for takeout. It’s obtained marinated soy curls on rice with pickled issues, hummus, and roasted potatoes.”

5pm: If she nonetheless has the vitality left, Eire begins dinner prep. Ideally, she has a brand new recipe in thoughts to attempt, however some days it’s extra of a fridge-clean-out state of affairs—roasting all of their getting old veggies and tofu to pile atop a grain and drizzle with sauce. 

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When she’s not making an attempt a brand new recipe or making certain nothing goes to waste, Eire returns to household staples: Greek potatoes, tofu souvlaki, Greek salad, or spaghetti with marinara loaded with veggies and vegan grounds. 

If she’s in want of elements, Eire rallies her pups for a fast stroll to her neighborhood produce market.

6pm: Relying on the climate, Eire and her household spend the remainder of the night lounging round the home or at a playground the place the native youngsters like to assemble after dinner. On stunning summer season nights, it’s virtually at all times the latter! 

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7pm to 11pm: The gears begin to gradual and Eire readies her youngsters for mattress. Ideally, her daughters are asleep by 8pm, however she confesses they’ve been fairly the evening owls just lately. 

As she waits for them to float off, Eire joins them in mattress to hearken to a storytime podcast. She at all times makes certain to brush her canines’ enamel and get herself prepared for mattress beforehand simply in case she drifts off as nicely (she admits this occurs fairly typically).

If she doesn’t go to sleep, Eire sneaks away for kid-free time together with her fur infants and husband, Darren, normally ending the evening watching a present on the sofa or speaking about their plans for the bakery.

Connecting together with her neighborhood

In some methods, To Reside For has pushed Eire and her workers utterly out of their consolation zones. In others, it has felt like a return to residence. Having labored within the hospitality business for 9 years in her youth, Eire admits she has a ardour for customer support. “I like making these in-person connections with folks,” she says. “It’s so particular to speak to folks … and meet different fellow passionate vegans and vegan households.” 

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That being stated, she acknowledges there’s been a “enormous studying curve” to transitioning her wholesale enterprise right into a storefront operation. Primarily, she’s felt a little bit pissed off making an attempt to determine how a lot of every part to make every day, and the way issues like holidays will influence their gross sales. 

However, she is joyful to be on the café serving to out as a lot as doable and figuring issues out together with her crew. “It’s enjoyable to work with the workers,” she attests. “I feel it helps after they see how a lot I care.”

Eire additionally plans to increase her help to others in her neighborhood via a vegan mentorship program, taking over “just a few pre-vegans per thirty days,” and being “obtainable to them each week to assist them on their vegan journeys by answering questions and offering sources” (comply with her on Instagram to get updates on this thrilling alternative). 

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To Reside For Bakery & Café is positioned within the Grandview-Woodland space of East Vancouver, and has been accepting guests with open arms since November of 2022. In case you’re planning a visit, be warned: you’ll need considered one of every part. We’re speaking flaky sausage rolls, seasonal croissants, chive and cheese scones, summer season soft-serve, cinnamon rolls lined in candied walnuts, and their best-selling croissant breakfast sandwich that includes Simply Egg, Violife cheese, and many arugula—all washed down with a creamy matcha, soiled chai, or iced caramel latte. 

If the down-and-around-the-block line that continues to assemble each weekend is something to go by, To Reside For’s mission—to show that plant-based meals might be simply as scrumptious (if not extra scrumptious) than conventional baked items and pastries—is already a triumph. 

Eire and her crew are dedicated to wowing their neighborhood and past as they proceed to develop their menu and deal with their doggy regulars with the identical care and enthusiasm as their human counterparts.

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