If you haven’t had a chance to treat yourself with this handmade family recipe biscotti, we can guarantee you will be yearning for this tasty treat, after reading our mini interview with the oh-so-talented Hotti Biscotti. We recently caught up with Debby Stroud, the Biscotti Creator and Dessert Dreamer to find out about the latest dessert trends, one of the most unique requests she’s ever received, and what makes Liuna Station one of Hotti Biscotti’ favourite venues to work with!
LS: Tell us the story behind Hotti Biscotti
HB: I started Hotti Biscotti 10 years ago while I was working as an Optician. I always loved baking and never really felt the passion in my career as an Optician-although it was much more lucrative while I was raising my son. I needed something that made me want to get up in the morning. I went around to restaurants with my desserts and luckily started getting orders. It was around this time I got laid off of my Optical job. I think this was my AHA moment when I realized (now that my son was grown up) that I didn’t want to look for another job as an Optician. My son and I baked at rented kitchens and soon decided it was time to search for a location. It was this time we opened our Westdale spot. All 180 sq ft. small and cozy, we made it work for four and a half great years. Two and a half years ago, we decided to search for a new location and chose trendy James North. We love the community and the revitalization. From art galleries and ethnic restaurants to small cafes and coffee shops – we knew we wanted to be in the centre of it all!
LS: Can you narrow down your top 3 popular flavours?
HB: Our softer texture biscotti (which is a family recipe) is a popular fixture in restaurants, coffee shops, hospitals and even car dealerships in Hamilton as well as Southern Ontario. We have repeat customers from all over Ontario visiting us with rave reviews. We boast 12-15 unique flavours but my top popular flavours are skor, vanilla birthday cake, nutella, and red velvet.
LS: Besides the classic biscotti, what is your runner up for popular sweets?
HB: I cant mention our bake shop without bringing up another star of the show, our chocolate skor covered peanut butter pops. Picture a Reese’ peanut butter cup rolled in a ball dipped in chocolate and covered in skor bits.
LS: What trends are you seeing in the bakery industry for weddings?
HB: Edible wedding favours are trendy. Our chocolate caramel toffee pretzel, as well as our biscotti are a huge hit as favours for Wedding and Showers. We can colour custom with sprinkles, wrapped in a cello bag and finished off with a decorative ribbon. Our peanut butter pops and our pretzels can be displayed in a bouquet to add an elegant delicious touch to every dessert table. We even offer complimentary tastings for family and/or bridal parties!
LS: Can you share with us one of your most memorable events at Liuna Station?
HB: What can I say about Liuna Station??? We have been to so many events there… Sacha Chocolatefest, Grape Expectations, Women’s Success in the City, just to name a few. The staff is beyond wonderful and extremely accommodating. The space is large yet cozy and warm at the same time. I have always loved the convenience of attending events here. One event that stands out was the Valentines dinner for perspective brides and grooms. The food was phenomenal and the décor was magical. I have recommended Liuna Station to many of my clients and will continue to do so. Five star rating in my book.
LS: What is the most unique or extravagant request you have received from a customer?
HB: I’ve had many great experiences within my new baking vocation and one especially sticks in my mind. I contacted the promoter who brought Oprah (yes, THAT OPRAH), to Hamilton, and he happens to be a fan of Hotti Biscotti.. we discussed me supplying her VIP room with our treats. I presented her with a gift box and had my picture taken with her. Another AHA moment, which proved I was doing the right thing with my life.
LS: What’s the most rewarding part of working in the bakery industry?
HB: It’s hard to pinpoint one thing, but in a nutshell it would be serving our loyal customers. I get to live my own dream, work in the wonderful Hamilton community, and get to meet so many wonderful people. The amazing reviews we get from our customers mean so much!
We’d like to thank Debby one of our preferred vendors, for taking some time away from creating delicious treats at Hotti Biscotti, to chat with us. Be sure to check out more mouth-watering creations from Hotti Biscotti on Instagram and Facebook.
From all of us at Liuna Station, thank you for following along!