Airdrie - Airdrie bakery SkyeFire Bakery is set to be featured in the upcoming season of Food Network Canada’s Project Bakeover.
“We were approached out of the blue to be on this television show,” said SkyeFire Bakery owner Scott Williams. “It was an awesome experience.”
The show, which focuses on helping struggling bakeries, is hosted by renowned pastry chef, master chocolatier and entrepreneur Steve Hodge and designer Tiffany Pratt. The hosts head to the featured bakeries in hopes of revitalizing the businesses.
Hodge said the episode featuring SkyeFire Bakery was a lot of fun to film.
“There were some interesting personal connections,” he said, adding the goal of Project Bakeover is to provide a feel-good show and help the featured businesses become profitable.
“We want to teach,” Hodge said. “We show them new techniques and help them build on what they are already doing.”
According to Hodge, while many establishments have issues with menu items, that wasn’t the case with Skyefire Bakery.
“They have amazing bread, they were struggling with the business side of things,” he said. “There are just so many moving parts.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic causing so much difficulty for businesses, Hodge said he hopes the show stresses the importance of supporting local.
“The big corporations aren’t going anywhere,” he said. “The small mom and pop shops can’t survive these events. They put their heart and souls into these businesses.”
Hodge said his experience with Williams when filming the episode was “unbelievable,” adding the episode is going to be “pretty epic.”
“People are going to fall in love with this dude because his mind goes a mile a minute,” he said. “He is so passionate about what he does – it almost overtakes everything else to do with the business.”
While some of the businesses featured on the show need quite the overhaul, Hodge said SkyeFire Bakery mainly just required stronger marketing and promotion.
“It was some of the best bread I have ever had,” he said. “Our approach was helping draw more people into the business.”
The bakery officially opened near Airdrie’s downtown in 2019. After getting off to a hot start, Williams said a large construction project on Main Street that started in May of that year and lasted throughout the summer negatively impacted the store's foot traffic.
“We weren’t sure we were going to make it through with four months of road closures – thankfully we could attend farmer’s markets,” he said.
The following year, after construction had cleared, Williams said business picked back up. But it wasn’t long after operations went back to normal that the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
On top of that, issues with a bank loan led to Williams being sued. While he said the issue has since been resolved, he said it made matters even more difficult.
The Food Network reached out shortly after, helping provide a little more hope to the bakery as Williams continued with his dream.
“We didn’t apply [for the show] or anything,” he said. “We were chosen randomly, which is awesome.”
While the Airdrie bakery’s episode will take place later in the season, the show returns with new episodes starting May 27 at 9 p.m. EDT on Food Network Canada.
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