Can a dessert actually taste good without refined sugar, butter, milk or eggs?
Tijana Bogdanovic, president and chef of Twenty1 Desserts, thinks so.
The Bowmanville restaurateur set out to open a shop with tasty desserts for the health-conscious crowd. The sit down bake shop opened in 2016.
The mother of two says the business first started out as a hobby. Her love of good quality food combined with the incentive of raising healthy children inspired her to learn how to make vegan desserts.
“[At that time] my baby started eating [solids] and we wanted to give her as much healthy stuff as possible, especially when it comes to sweets and treats,” says Bogdanovic. “[What] that is available in stores is not very good [for our health].”
Bogdanovic’s former co-worker, Cindy Sullivan, says she noticed all of the effort Bogdanovic put into making the treats for her family and knew she had the ability to expand on that and turn it into a business.
“I commissioned her to make a cake for a special event for [my] family. It was beyond amazing,” says Sullivan. “When we took it to the event everyone raved about it, [saying] how good it was,” says Sullivan
Sullivan appaulds Bogdanovic on her attention to detail and her selection of top-of-the-line ingredients. Sullivan’s favourites are the cakes and donuts.
“She puts her heart into [her work]. It’s good quality and good for you,” says Sullivan.
“It’s experience only. I am self-taught. Everything is from my personal experience,” says Bogdanovic. “Most people start eating vegan or turn to this type of [lifestyle] because they are sick or some member of their family is sick. But, I was lucky enough to start [because of my own interest].”
Bogdanovic says the restaurant is called Twenty1 Desserts because she believes it takes 21 days to break a habit.
“A lot of the treats out there have a lot of sugar, have a lot of things in them that are bad for your health,” says Bogdanovic. “We are dedicated to [creating] all natural, organic, hand-made desserts. I make [everything] with passion and love.”
Twenty1 covers most of the allergies out there: diary, gluten, soy. If requested, nut-free options are available as well.
“All the additives in [store-bought products] and classic desserts are recognized as toxins because your body can’t simply digest it. So it stores it as fat,” says Bogdanovic. “We make desserts out of fresh fruits, seeds and nuts. Everything you could put in your smoothie in the morning is what we use in our desserts.”
The most popular desserts at Twenty1 are the cheesecakes. Bogdanovic says customers who are not vegan love these because of the creamy texture.
Twenty1’s tiramisu is also a customer favourite. The Italian treat is available at most Il Fornello locations, an Italian restaurant chain that offers a vegan menu.
“It allows people to indulge guilt-free. It has a rich coffee flavour and a delightful creamy perfection. It has the right amount of natural sweetener. Definitely leaves everyone’s tastebuds wanting more,” says Bogdanvic.
Anyone with a sweet-tooth and interest in all-natural, gluten-free backing can find Twenty1 creations at Fackin Good Food, a vegan deli in downtown Oshawa, and Copper Branch, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant, in Brooklin.
Although all of the desserts are certified vegan, Bogdanvic invites those who aren’t vegan to try Twenty1. They can decide themselves if desserts can be delicious, yet nutritious.
You can visit Twenty1 Desserts at 56 Trudeau Dr. in Bowmanville.