‘This didn’t sit well with me,’ Keith Lee responds to forced move of Ajax bakery he reviewed


Published May 7, 2024 at 11:15 am

Biscuits to Baskets
via Biscuits to Baskets

TikTok foodie Keith Lee is not impressed Biscuits to Baskets has been forced to move after he brought them renewed attention in a review.

Lee, an American TikToker and food critic, visited Biscuits to Baskets on April 6 as part of his recent tour of Toronto. Suzanne Smith started the family-run business out of their home on 49 Beatty Road back in 2003. She’s since been joined by her husband, son and grandmother.

Six years ago, the business moved into a cozy, homey exterior building in the backyard to serve its growing customer base. In the 20 years since its founding, Biscuits to Baskets has become locally renowned for its wide selection of handmade confections, including its most popular chocolate barks, caramel apples, and sponge toffees.

Lee doesn’t normally visit home-based businesses because he is concerned his 16.2 million TikTok followers may overwhelm the business and the neighbourhood. However, after seeing another online review of Biscuits to Baskets, he decided he couldn’t resist.


Biscuits & Baskets taste test 💕 would you try it 💕 #foodcritic @mixinthe6ix

♬ original sound – Keith Lee

He was impressed with the Korean sponge toffee latte (which he rated 8/10) despite not being much of a coffee drinker himself. He also enjoyed a box of cake slices (rated 7/10).

However, he saved his most glowing comments for the Smiths themselves, saying their customer service was “over the top. Some of the best customer service I’ve ever experienced.”

Lee’s prediction proved accurate as the backyard business was flooded with customers after his visit. The following day, Biscuits to Baskets reported a huge influx of people.

“Our first and main priority is the safety of our neighbourhood, with the schools in the area and possible congestion of traffic during the week, we want to make sure that everyone is safe,” they wrote on Facebook.

They also began closing on Fridays to prepare enough food for the new customers. Durham Region Tourism also highlighted the business in the days following Lee’s visit, along with a few other local mom-and-pop shops.

However, while Lee, the Region, and a host of new customers were impressed, it seems the Town of Ajax was not. Their newfound attention brought the long arm of the bylaw officer to their door.

The town visited Biscuits to Baskets to inform them they could not operate out of the backyard as the building was separate from the main house.

“This flew right under our radar and had not been addressed to us until now,” Smith wrote online. The business is Dinesafe and Food Safety inspected and followed all protocols to the “best of our knowledge.”

As a result, they had to return to selling their goods through the front of the house and had to close down the backyard pick-up area.

On May 7, Lee responded to the forced move, calling it “surprising, unfortunate, but fixable.” He reiterated his love for Biscuits to Baskets, “It was amazing. In my opinion and my family’s opinion and also to the thousand-plus people who visited in the last month.”

“This business, not only from a food perspective but from a customer service, from what they stand for, from the spirit of the people who work there, amazing in my opinion,” he said.

He continued that one complaint led to the town forcing Biscuits to Baskets. “Obviously, I didn’t like that,” he said, “The fact that me and my family had any part in this…it didn’t sit well with me.”


#stitch with @Keith Lee 💕 Keith Speaks 💕 God Is Amazing 🙏🏽 #foodcritic @Biscuits To Baskets

♬ original sound – Keith Lee

Biscuits to Baskets wasn’t comfortable starting a GoFundMe to finance a new location, so they partnered with Lee to sell shirts inspired by his visit. They’ve also set up a CashApp (for Americans at $Biscuits2Baskets) and a Paypal (@Biscuits2Baskets) for supporters to donate toward a new building.

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