These buns are sticky, baby

Small shop with big buns the perfect coffee break getaway

  • Enjoy a deliciously sticky Monkey Brain or Dharma only at Johnnies Sticky Buns. Delicious food and a great atmosphere combine to make the place a welcome addition to Portage Avenue. – Nicholas Friesen

  • Jonnies Sticky Buns, 941 Portage Ave. – Nicholas Friesen

Jonnies Sticky Buns
941 Portage Ave.

You’ve probably seen the signs for Jonnies Sticky Buns around town. They’re stapled to telephone poles and say cheeky things about buns and where this shop wants to put them.

But the true nature of this beast cannot be contained in a cute graphic or a witty pun. It’s far too delicious for images or words.

Nestled comfortably between a flower shop and a nail salon on Portage Avenue, just a short walk from the University of Winnipeg, Jonnies is among the smallest shops you’ll ever set foot in.

As it turns out, you don’t need much space to create sticky bun magic.

A friend and I recently stopped in on a Wednesday afternoon. We were quickly and warmly welcomed by a cheerful, apron-clad employee who admitted that the selection was lacking after a busy morning.

With some helpful suggestions we eventually settled on a pair of buns, one poppyseed and one classic, with some coffee.

As we settled into one of the two available tables we took in the scene.

The whole experience just feels like sitting in your friend’s mom’s kitchen. Or at least it would if your friend’s mom listened to Herbie Hancock cassettes and happened to be an unbelievable baker.

An acoustic guitar leans in one corner of the seating area, which could reasonably hold four or five people if they didn’t mind squishing. A stack of CDs and a few books rest on the windowsill next to a flower pot and a small statue.

The whole experience just feels like sitting in your friend’s mom’s kitchen. Or at least it would if your friend’s mom listened to Herbie Hancock cassettes and happened to be an unbelievable baker.

The cafe lacks the conformity of other establishments and flourishes because of it. The plates, cutlery and coffee mugs are an eclectic mix of styles that appear to have been raided from local thrift shops.

And what’s probably most important, the cinnamon buns are delicious. The poppyseed (Wednesday’s special) is vegan and tasty, drizzled with icing and boasting a perfect degree of chewiness. The classic is not vegan, but is made with whole wheat flour and a healthy amount of cinnamon.

The coffee, from local bean roasters at Black Pearl, is organic and fair trade. And considering refills are free, it’s one hell of a good deal.

Two cinnamon buns with two coffees came to almost exactly $10. Even your friend’s mom would find it hard to compete with these guys.

Visit www.jonniesstickybuns.com.

Published in Volume 66, Number 10 of The Uniter (November 2, 2011)

We love comments and appreciate the time that our readers take to share ideas and give feedback. The Uniter reserves the right to remove any comments from the site. Please leave comments that are repectful and useful.

You Might Also Want To Read