Kara Shedden

VIU Baking and Pastry Arts graduate, Kara Sheddon

Kara Shedden has always wanted to own her own ice cream shop, and now that her dream has come true, life is pretty sweet.

After graduating from Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) Baking and Pastry Arts foundation program, she started her own business selling baked goods at the Island Roots Farmers’ Market; however, making ice cream was what she really wanted to do.

“After many phone calls and realizing that I wouldn’t be able to sell ice cream at the local markets as a home-based business, we took the next step and started looking at commercial locations around town,” says Shedden.

Burnt Honey Dessert Company, named after Shedden’s signature, self-invented ice cream flavour, opened in Country Club Centre, during a major snowstorm that shut down schools and businesses across the city.

“One of my favourite memories from that first week was having people buy cones in their snow jackets and boots,” she remembers.

“They would then stand outside with snow coming down sideways, eating an ice cream cone. I will forever smile thinking of these days.”

Right from the start, the store experienced a huge demand for their products, which include ice cream and French macarons. To keep up with demand, Shedden has hired 10 additional staff members over the past four months.

“My VIU training was vital to my growth in the industry,” she says. “I have a complete understanding of how ingredients work, which gives me the creative freedom my customers have come to love. Over the past three years, I was laser-focused on gaining as much knowledge as possible. I had endless opportunities to reach out to my instructors for guidance during this time and I know they are still available to support me.”

For those wishing to follow the same path, Shedden cautions them to do their research to make sure it is the right fit. If it is, then get to work, and get ready to live and breathe baking and baking-related topics.

“Owning your own business is one of the most rewarding, humbling, challenging, terrifying and gratifying things you can do,” she says. “I knew I wanted to open an ice cream shop and I’ve spent countless hours reading books, making a wide variety of ice cream recipes and failing a whole lot. With every mistake, I’ve learned something and grown as a pastry chef.”