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Halloween brings sweet memories for Barrie baker

Owner of Sigrid's Fine Cafe and Bakery arrived in Canada Oct. 31, 1983

Andrea Higgins laughs at the memory of her first night in Canada.

She arrived from Germany with her family on Oct. 31, 1983 and by 7pm they were in Barrie.

Trick or treating was in full swing.

"We did not have Halloween at that time in Germany.  We thought all Canadians are crazy."

She recalls at that time McDonald's was big because kids were wearing french fry and Ronald McDonald costumes.

"I thought they must love their junk food so much they dress like it!"

And Higgins knows food.

Baking sweet treats and delicious breads is not only her joy--it's her speciality.  

She is the owner and operator of Sigrid's Bakery and the fourth generation of professionally trained, European bakers.

The charming bakery and cafe is in a century home on Ross Street that was once a Dutch store. 

Over the past 32 years, Higgins says she "got to know Halloween."

In addition to all the regular mouth-watering items in the display cases, her bakery offers festive treats from cupcakes to cookies to cakes.  

It's all made from scratch and is peanut free. 

Teachers appreciate that and pick up goodies for class.

Long time customers personalize Halloween treats for special children in their lives.

"We have a lot of loyal people that have been around for years that do it for grandchildren or kids in the neighbourhood that they know very well.  They wrap it up themselves and make it extra special."

She enjoys keeping up with the latest trends and the challenges of baking for people with allergies.

With a master diploma in wedding cakes from the U.S., Higgins says she loves to do everything but lately likes breads the best.

Her customers are an extended family.

"I love creating something when i know i'm part of someone's family whether its a birthday, a wedding, anniversary - anything because they come to me in order to celebrate their special party."

The jovial baker has three children and hopes one day they will take over the bakery just like she did in 2004 when she bought Sigrid's from her parents.

The kids and her husband help her run the business. 

Higgins, an avid soccer player, loves Barrie for all the recreation the city has to offer.

She's come a long way from that Halloween night 32 years ago when she admits she was a 17-year old girl who did not want to come to Canada.

But ever since she's been living her dream of having her own bakery.


Sue Sgambati

About the Author: Sue Sgambati

Sue has had a 30-year career in journalism working for print, radio and TV. She is a proud member of the Barrie community.
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