Miya Bradburn has always loved to bake for her family and friends.
For many years, however, there was one exception to her passion; Bradburn refused to make tarts. “I was probably close to 35 when I made my first pastry,” explains Bradburn, who was continually encouraged by her mother, Helene.
“It’s kind of funny really. Making pastry is one of the things that you say you can’t do, but you end up doing it and realize it’s actually fun…that does make me chuckle a little bit,” says Bradburn.
Baking tarts and sharing her creations with loved ones turned out to be so fun that in the summer 2018, Bradburn launched her small business, Briarwood Tarts.
That summer, Bradburn received a special request from a friend, starting something that has since set her business apart from others. “I had just been making tarts for family and putting pictures on Facebook and one of my friends asked, ‘do you make gluten free?’” recalls Bradburn.
Bradburn decided to accept the challenge of making a gluten-free (and equally as delicious) pie crust. Bradburn also took on another experiment, creating a butter tart that was not only gluten free, but also vegan. After plenty of trial and error, she decided to call it the Wonder Tart.
“It’s the most delicious science,” she explains. “I just know that for people with dietary restrictions, those sorts of treats are few and far between.”
Only a few months after making her first gluten-free tarts, the same recipe received first place in the open tart category at the Lindsay Fair. Her regular butter tarts brought home first place ribbons in two other categories as well.
Since her launch, Bradburn has appeared at the Lindsay Butter Tart Festival, as well as two of the Fun Four Hours shopping events. All the while, Bradburn has continued to bake every tart in her own kitchen at home.
Making tarts isn’t Bradburn’s only passion, either. After leaving her career in education this past April, Bradburn and her husband have taken on new roles as pastors for The Salvation Army in Fenelon Falls, for which they are currently in training.
When Bradburn isn’t offering her services at the church or foodbank, or baking batches of butter tarts, she offers her services to individuals trying to organize their paperwork, through another small business, Harvest Organizing. “I’ve worn many, many hats,” she says.
Through all of the hustle and bustle of life, one thing that brings Bradburn back to Briarwood Tarts is the connection she is able to make with people in her community.
“I don’t know if it’s because of the food and people just feel happy and comfortable when there’s food involved,” she explains, “but you just get to have these heart-to-heart conversations with people.”