From Caramels to Doughnuts, Wolfville Pastry Chef Creating Treats to Bring Joy
By Emily Kathan
Abby Lerner is the face behind Two Birds Sweets & Treats at the Wolfville Farmers Market. Her handmade sweets are the major destination for allowance money in our family, so I’ve been lucky enough to have many opportunities to chat with this talented and ebullient pastry chef and sample her many tasty treats. I decided it was high time Grapevine readers got to learn about her and her delicious business too:
The Grapevine (GV): How did you come to be living in the Valley?
Abby Lerner (AL): My husband Mike and I had been searching for our “forever” place for a long time. After many moves, we were finally ready to buy our first home. We were living in Quebec at the time, but knew that wasn’t the right place for us in the long-term. We decided on Nova Scotia because of its beautiful landscapes, ocean access, lovely people, and affordable homes, but neither of us had ever been here! I compiled a short list of houses that met our criteria and flew out here on my own for a weekend. Our wonderful realtor drove me to far-flung places, and with Mike on FaceTime at home in Quebec with our two kids, we found the perfect place! It was the only house that met all of our needs, so the location was actually secondary. We knew nothing about the Annapolis Valley at that time. As it turns out, it’s the best place in the world! We love everything about living in Wolfville, and feel so lucky to have landed here.
GV: Why did you decide to start Two Birds Sweets & Treats?
AL: To bring people joy! When someone eats a treat that I made, and I see their face light up with happiness, it is so satisfying. I think people can taste the time and love and real food ingredients that I put into everything I make.
GV: What is your most popular product?
AL: Sea Salt Caramels. I have sold almost 7,000 of them since I started Two Birds a year and a half ago.
GV: What is your favourite item to make?
AL: I love making hand-dipped chocolates of all kinds. It’s meditative to dip each piece in the chocolate, and so satisfying to watch the chocolate set up smooth and shiny.
GV: What has been your biggest challenge?
AL: I am a one-woman operation, and I also have two young children. There are times when I have had to turn down opportunities that came my way because I don’t have the bandwidth to say yes to everything. It’s been challenging to know when and how to say no, and to risk letting someone down. There are a lot of demands on my time, and sometimes I struggle to find balance.
GV: What has surprised you the most about the work you do/working at the market?
AL: I was surprised by the amazing reception I’ve received from this community. I’ve gotten so much support, encouragement, and praise from my customers, other farmers market vendors and the staff at the Wolfville Farmers Market. As a newcomer to the Valley I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s been absolutely incredible.
GV: What are your future goals for the business?
AL: I’m very excited to be launching Two Birds Doughnuts on Wednesday evenings at the Wolfville Farmers Market. I will be selling my light and fluffy yeast-raised doughnuts with homemade fillings and glazes. In the future I would like to have a doughnut delivery service, or perhaps a designated pick up spot so people could get doughnuts more regularly. I’ve also started making custom order cakes, and I would love to grow that side of the business in the future.
You can find Two Birds Doughnuts on Wednesdays and Two Birds Sweets & Treats on Saturdays at the Wolfville Farmers Market, or visit the Two Birds Facebook page for more information