Pouffe Pastries is Toronto's newest spot for savoury bites

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Savoury, portable bites are the perfect thing for picnics, soirées spent with your COVID bubble buddies or quiet Netflix nights. For a new take on traditional hand pies, Pouffe Pastries has the bites you want to try. Flaky, golden, and filled to bursting with tempting fillings, Pouffe Pastries’ appetizing snacks are the newest entry in the home-based culinary business world.

An avid home cook and budding chef, Vivian Ngovu was enrolled in George Brown College’s Culinary Arts program when COVID changed her plans. Though she kept her full-time job in sales at a digital marketing company, Ngovu was inspired by the number of home-based food businesses she saw popping up and decided that the time was right to start her own. “I used to make [the pouffes] all the time for family and friend gatherings and everyone loved them so I wanted to share them with more people,” says Ngovu.

Now, with the help of her fiancé Elton Mak, Ngovu cooks up four flavours of pouffe weekly. Available for preorder pickup on weekends in Leslieville, pouffes cost $24 for six and $42 for 12. Bestsellers are the Magic Shroom, a luscious mixture of cremini mushrooms, spinach and brie, and the Mac Daddy, made with ground beef, pickles and aged cheddar, which “tastes just like a cheeseburger,” according to Ngovu. Also on the menu are a Turkey Apple Melt option and Green Broccoli & Ham, meant to evoke memories of broccoli soup with cheese.

With orders selling out days in advance, the duo is thinking about introducing additional flavours to the menu. Some ideas include jerk chicken, braised beef with gravy and cheese, and even sweet pouffes. Ngovu and Mak may also add a special "flavour of the month" to the menu every four weeks.

"This just started as a small passion project," says Ngovu. "We are so grateful now that we're getting a decent amount of orders and people are really enjoying them." As for the future? If demand increases, the team is thinking about expanding to a brick-and-mortar store. A delivery option, perfect for shuttling pouffes across the city, is also coming soon.