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bakery Restaurants

Gato Bakeshop – 819 Sargent Avenue

Gato Bakeshop – Sargent Avenue. A version of this post appears in the February edition of West End Streets newspaper. 

In the summer of 2021, I started hearing reports of a new bakery opening in my neighbourhood. It was called Gato, and it was drawing raves. I decided to go and give it a try.

Gato Bakeshop packaging
A plain brown box with the Gato logo, containing delicious treats within.

Taking a walk down the street, I got to Gato, and found that it was closed. A few days later I checked the hours before leaving the house. I got to the bakery and it was closed. Third time though was the charm.

Why such bad luck? The bakery was going so well, they kept selling out before the end of the day.

When I finally did get in, there were only a couple of items left. That’s when the person behind the counter told me about how quickly they were selling out.

Fortunately, Gato is close enough to where I live that I have made a few trips there since those original visits. Getting there early in the day is still good advice, because the baked goods sell out quickly.

Currently the bakery is focusing on its takeout business. There are a couple of counters featuring two stools each. Other than that, there is no dine-in option. They also carry a small range of beverages, consisting of coffee, tea, and kombucha.

Gato is owned by Laura Gurbhoo. Originally from Mauritius, she came to Winnipeg as a pharmacy student. She honed her baking skills at French themed bakeries in town, before starting up her own bakery.

Sustainability is a key part of Gurbhoo’s baking practice. As a result, Gato operates as a primarily vegan bakery. Gato offers sourdough breads, along with baked goods, many of which are in the classic French tradition.

Gato Bakeshop Visits

I’m not a vegan, and I will admit that when I ate the Gato croissant, I missed the buttery flavour. However, in this case, butter is just that, a flavour. The crust of the Gato croissant still bursts apart and the interior is light and melt in your mouth good.

Croissant and Coconut tart.
The Coconut Tart and Vegan Croissant.

Gato also makes cronuts. That wonderful combination of croissant and doughnut. I tried the chocolate-orange one. The pastry again is light. However, the addition of a rich chocolate ganache to go along with a candied orange makes this as enjoyable as any doughnut you will find.

An Orange and Chocolate Cronut.
An Orange and Chocolate Cronut, one of the real delights from the Bakeshop.

If you are a fan of French pastry in general, Gato makes a good choice. I used to work just down the road from Le Croissant, and I miss being able to stop in there to pick up a pain de chocolat or croissant.

An enjoyable peachtart.
A Peach Tart from the Bakeshop.

One item I really enjoyed at Gato is their single serve Tarte Tatin, a non-vegan item. The pastry on this is as flaky as on any pie I’ve tried. It’s also loaded with several slices of apples on top of the pastry.

A Tarte Tatin from Gato
The Tarte Tatin is rectangular rather than round, but the flavour is terrific.

Trying food at a vegan bakery, I find myself coming across things that I have not really tried before. One item is a tart, that has some filling, but its main feature is a huge pile of whipped topping. This is a very tasty whipped topping, which also has coconut added on top.

One reason for me to make more visits is to try Gurbhoo’s Mauritius Banana Tart. This is apparently the house specialty.

If you are looking to eat more sustainably, or you wish to explore vegan options in your diet, Gato is a great place to start. If you are looking for fantastic baked goods, Gato is a great place to start.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.