2014: “Cait’s Kitchen” began in November when Cait found herself unemployed after completing a teaching contract in Orangeville. Depressed and lost, she turned to baking. Consequently, the countertops were filled with tarts, cookies, and squares. Her husband, Spencer, shocked at all the new treats, jokingly said: “I can’t eat another bite; you should sell this stuff!” The lightbulb went off, and within 24 hours Cait created: a business name; preliminary logo designs; and a website with delivery schedules to the GTA. Amusingly, Cait’s family presumed they might be her only customers, hence the GTA schedule- where her family lived!
2015: What began with holiday cookies evolved into a steep pastry learning curve in January after Spencer suggested attempting croissants. Fast forward to the weekly summer farmer’s market and Cait and Spencer were selling out of their pastry before noon! On a few occasions, Spencer would run home and whip up a batch of scones to sell before running off to his job as Executive Chef at the Benmiller Inn. Regulars began to emphasize how nice it would be to have a cafe in town again.
Between the markets, pre-orders, and catering jobs, (as well as working at the Little Inn and teaching online through Virtual High School), Cait needed a full-time chef to grow her business. By September, Spencer had quit his job and joined forces; which allowed them to take on larger catering contracts and start planning the cafe.
2016: After months of scoping out locations, they stumbled upon a small retail space in downtown Goderich in March. During that time you could find Cait, Spencer and their contractors knee deep in paint buckets, drywall dust, and nails. Utility vans were driven back and forth to Toronto auctions or “the graveyards of small business dreams”, as Cait coined them, to pick-up used kitchen equipment, all while fulfilling a busy catering schedule. Five months later, they would open the door to Cait’s Cafe in the midst of summer.
2021: Now, they are in their fifth year of business with two young kids, and thrilled to be a part of the incredible Goderich community. The cafe has turned into a refuge for many – a place to meet, unwind, and escape; a place Cait & Spencer are incredibly proud of. Their menu continues to evolve to accommodate various needs of locals and passersby, and their ability to source coffee beans from local roasters; veggies & fruit from local organic farmers; and eggs, meat, and cheese from local businesses, is a dream realized.
In retrospect, the decisions that resulted in the birth of the cafe seem pretty risky, but without great risk, there is no great reward. Cait and Spencer couldn’t be happier they took that leap of faith back in 2014.
“Their menu continues to evolve to accommodate various needs of locals and passersby, and their ability to source coffee beans from local roasters; veggies & fruit from local organic farmers; and eggs, meat, and cheese from local businesses is a dream realized.”
“We had already eaten but were driving by and a friend had suggested it. It sure did not disappoint. We left there with 4 sinfully delicious chocolate croissants, one plain butter croissant and 4 decadent Lindt chocolate chunk cookies! The special looked great and the smells in this place were divine! We will definitely be back for lunch”
“I have not had anything bad from this restaurant. Danishes, croissants, breakfast sandwiches (OMG!), lunch sandwiches, lattes, cold drip coffees. Everything has been exceptionally good. A French bakery could not do better. I can not rate it high enough. As a cottager to Goderich it is our biweekly treat. Breakfast on Market day and lunch on laundry day. I wouldn’t go anywhere else for a good meal. Not to mention the wonderful staff. Their philosophy is to supply you with the best and freshest local goods from beer to berries. Bravo to this young couple with wonderful taste in design and culinary skills.”
“Just tried Cait’s breakfast sandwich and what a treat it was. High quality ham, a fried egg. Cheese , lettuce and chipotle mayo on a freshly baked croissant….btw they make their own croissants…as good as any i’ve had in France!! Unheard of in small town Ontario.
Think I just found a new favourite breakfast place in Goderich…”
awards & certificates
Huron Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2015)
Huron Chamber of Commerce BIA Award (2016)
Huron Chamber of Commerce Small Business Centre Award (2017)
FeastON Certified (2015-2018)
A criteria based program that ensures members source a percentage of their ingredients from local purveyors. This certification ensures we live up to our source locally mandate.
(While we are still dedicated to sourcing from local purveyors, we no longer pay for this membership)