Where do I begin with this little gem of a bakery? Located on a fairly busy main road leading down to the beach, CJ’s sits in a perfect position for hungry locals, peckish beachgoers or famished workers on a break. It’s a couple hundred metres up from the main promenade, sitting shyly underneath a large and vibrant mural. A couple of tables out the front and signage declaring its accolades draw your attention to the bakery – the smells draw you in. Even in the middle of the afternoon, when we stopped in for a late lunch, the bakery was thriving. There was a high rate of table turnover and a constant stream of patrons walking in and out of the front doors. Clearly, this is a place loved by locals; the friendly servers knew many by name and order.
CJ’s had been on my list of bakeries for a long time. They were one of the most requested bakeries for us to visit on our submissions page, and their Instagram page had wetted my taste buds on more than a few occasions. What I could glean about CJ’s and their history made it even more appealing. A family-run business, they had been open since 2010 providing employment and delicious baked goods to the local community since. Their Instagram page was filled with pictures of their goods, the community in which they thrived, and their working family. While the photos weren’t going to win awards for the most artistic picture (I’m not one to talk), or have influencers in awe, they were wholesome and honest.
Walking in the store the first thing you note is the friendliness of the staff. Big smiles and hellos greet you, as does a large display cabinet of baked and fried goods. They had normal donuts of your standard toppings as well as packs of mini donuts – tempting, delicious and easy to consume in one sitting. We got a couple pies and donut to share, sitting outside with our puppy in the warm afternoon sun. The pies were good with huge chunks of meat and vegetables mixed with gravy in a crispy, flakey and buttery shell. So often pies are more gravy with a couple thin bits of meat and a single pea, but these pies truly were packed with the goods.
The donuts, ah the donuts. I loved them. They reminded me of America, of my hometown in Virginia and of my childhood. It took all my effort not to walk back inside for another, and another, and another. It’s taking me all my effort not to get in my car and drive down there right now. This donut, this bakery, these are the reasons I write the blog – to support our local bakeries like they support our local communities with jobs, delicious food and friendly smiles every time you walk through the door.