Niagara-based cheesy bakery a finalist for Ontario Made Awards


Published January 26, 2023 at 2:49 pm

Paz Bakery's Cheese Dots are  based on the Brazilian cheese bread "pao de queijo" that Paloma Lara grew up loving in Brazil.

A Niagara business has made it to the finals of Ontario Made Awards — a celebration of outstanding manufacturers and retailers in the province.

After voting was cast Dec. 6 to Jan. 8, Niagara-based Paz Bakery has made the final three in the Consumer Awareness Award category and is just one of 12 finalists left in four categories from across the province.

Paz’s category “recognizes an Ontario Made manufacturer that has integrated the Ontario Made logo into their business to further increase the sale and awareness of locally made products among consumers.”

The business was co-founded in 2018 by husband-and-wife team Andrew Hoto and Paloma Lara. While Lara is a native of Brazil, Hoto was born and raised in Niagara Falls.

Their cheesy gooey-centred buns and treats are based on the Brazilian cheese bread “pao de queijo” that Lara grew up loving in Brazil.

Paz Bakery is known for its cheese dots, which are naturally gluten-free cheese buns made in small batches.

Cheese Dots are made from local ingredients including Oka, one of the oldest cheeses in Canada. Oka was originally manufactured by Trappist monks in Oka, Quebec.

Though Paz doesn’t maintain a brick-and-mortar storefront, its Niagara-made products are available for purchase online and at select markets and restaurant locations around the province.

Locals can find Paz’s delicious dots at numerous spots across the region, including Niagara-on-the-Lake’s La Paisana Latin Groceries, Niagara Falls’ Small Scale Farms and The Grove, and six different shops in St. Catharines.

Award winners will be announced at Ontario Made’s Virtual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 22. The award ceremony is free to attend – further details about speakers will be announced, as well as Ontario-made prizes to be won by simply attending.

For more info on Paz Bakery including a list of locations for its product, check HERE

Paz Bakery was co-founded in 2018 by husband-and-wife team Andrew Hoto and
Paloma Lara.


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