Many small businesses were unquestionably hurt by the pandemic. This cafe, that opened its doors in early 2020 and suffered, is about to expand to a second location!
How does FDL Cafe set themselves apart from the big mega-chains in their vicinity? By having outrageously delicious product and a staff with open hearts and the gift of gab. Like the theme song from Cheers: “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. And they’re always glad you came.” Go here for the community …and the croissants.
When my son started kindergarten at a specialized independent school far from our catchment, I wasn’t sure how I would pass the three hours I needed to wait for him. Quickly realizing I was going to become a coffeeshop mompreneur, I tried every coffeeshop, community centre and library in a massive radius around Burnaby Heights to see where I felt most comfortable.
Day after balmy September day, I did the “Iced Americano” test – thank you, extended summer, amirite!?
FiorDiLatte Cafe (FDL) is hands down the best (and they are soon opening a new location on Commercial Drive!)
Great drinks? Check (try the Blue Matcha Latte).
Great pastries? Check (try the savoury Sausage Roll, or the Fruit Galettes and Danishes, or the myriad croissants — too many to pick a single favourite).
I won’t forget the gelato — tasty fodder for another article — but in reality, it’s the staff and the overall atmosphere that brings me back time and again.
Let’s take a deeper look — and drool over — the food. They are known for their house-made gelato, but in truth, everything is made in-house. Owner Alex Radjenovic gives his baking staff a lot of autonomy. Kelsey Wong, Pastry Chef, head of the kitchen and all things delicious, experiments often.
Today I came in to find a super-sized pinwheel of Smoked Meat, Mustard and Caramelized Onions. While it is on a limited trial run, the Spinach, Feta and Basil Pesto pinwheel, Sausage Roll (my personal weakness) and Croque Monsieur are daily staples.
Speaking of daily, everything in their display case is made fresh each morning. They start the “Bake-off” at 5:30am. Doors to the cafe open at 8am. At the end of the day, whatever is leftover (not much!) gets boxed for staff to take home or is donated to locals, like the Burnaby Fire Hall No.5 a few doors down (whose firefighters are regulars at FDL).
Timing is everything. The croissants, for example, are a three day process. Day one, they make the dough. Day two is for laminating – folding and rolling butter into the dough over and over again – ohmygodyum! – and shaping. On day three, they bake. And you know when they bake because the most mouth watering smell greets you even before you open the front door.
Again, I cannot forget the gelato, made daily by Roberto Delgadillo. Flavours ranging from fruit (Lemon, Strawberry) to Ferrero Rocher, and FDL Espresso Gelato Double Swirl. We will revisit gelato in another article, but it is worth the trip to FDL anytime…every time!
And if you own a cafe or restaurant but don’t have the means to create in-house pastries, gelato or other treats yourself, FDL wholesales their wares, supplying places all around the city.
Go visit them at 4233 E Hastings St. Burnaby Heights.
Tell them Amanda says, “Hi!”
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