New Owner at The Village Patisserie

left: Mojdeh Shaikhi, owner and head chef of The Village Patisserie (aka "The Little Persian Place on the Avenue" with her son Shawhin (15). Right: Persian Pastry flavoured with rose water. Photos by Ellie shortt

The Village Patisserie on Oak Bay Avenue has been a neighbourhood staple for many years, but if you’ve recently stepped through its doors you may have noticed a different aroma tickling your nose. Scents of cardamom, curry and other exotic spices mingle with warming and familiar fragrances of fresh baked breads and desserts. Savoury stews, salads, and wraps now accompany cookies, pies and tarts, with international additions like Numi Teas adding to the wide array of goods. While the original name remains the same, there are murmurs of a new alias, dubbing it “The Little Persian Place on The Avenue.” It may not be the official title yet, but it hints to the changes that have taken place since Mojdeh Shaikhi took over almost three years ago.


Gluten free walnut cookies with cardamom

Growing up in Iran and receiving extensive culinary training in India, Costa Rica and other parts of the world, Shaikhi is passionate about sharing exotic and interesting flavours from abroad with Victorians. No matter if she’s using curry, cardamom or rose water to colour her food, it’s all about fresh, local, sustainable cuisine that offers her customers a healthy, home-style option. If you’re looking for a snack on the go, or an easy dinner option, generous portions and reasonable prices, plus an assortment of vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free dishes make this an attractive stop for all clientele. While some dishes are constructed with the intention of keeping out gluten, dairy or meat, Shaikhi explains that by avoiding flour fillers and sticking to traditional recipes, she doesn’t have to compromise flavour when promoting herself as a restricted diet-friendly business, conscious of all preferences and needs.


For a taste of her culture, Shaikhi recommends the lamb stew, Persian potato cakes or the saffron pudding. She also suggests some of her international favourites including chicken curry, vegetarian lasagne, South American chilli, and Cornish pastries. But of course she is happy to continue to offer the delicious lemon squares, brownies, cookies, pies and tarts that are so adored by long-term regulars.


Baked sesame tofu sticks.

Whether you’re coming in for the pastries and staying for the stew, in the end all Shaikhi wants is to make her customers happy. This hardworking mother of three (she has 15, 23 and 29 year old sons) sometimes works from 4:30am until midnight, but she says it’s all worth it when she sees the happy smiles on customers’ faces as they experiment with a new curry or bite into their favourite cookie. So while The Village Patisserie may have been met with some recent changes, one thing is clear – “The Little Persian Place on the Avenue” is packed with big flavour, love and pride.


The Village Patisserie, 2217 Oak Bay Avenue (250) 370-0766



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