Skip to content

Love at first bite: Shop offers quality sweets and treats

Just Beecause is planning some fun for Valentine's Day

Two sisters will be spreading some sweetness around Timmins in time for Valentine’s Day.

Brianna Marks and Robyn Bellemare are the team behind Just Beecause Chocolates and Confections. Marks is an award-winning chocolatier and baker. Bellemare is the business whiz behind the scenes, specializing in marketing and packaging.

Together, they provide quality sweets and treats for their customers.

A quality product requires quality ingredients. And Just Beecause doesn’t skimp on quality, especially when it comes to chocolate.

“We don’t just melt down Hershey bars or chocolate chips,” Marks said. “We use Callebaut chocolate, which is high-quality Belgian chocolate.

“The reason I use Callebaut is the flavour of the chocolate. Honestly, you can probably tell the difference by tasting a bar from a dollar store compared to one from here. There are a lot more additives in other chocolate — different waxes and sugars that make it last much, much longer on the shelf.

“Callebaut is more pure in ingredients. They don’t add too much to it. So, you really get the flavour of the chocolate."

A chocolate bar from Just Beecause will have a snap to it. That's because it's tempered, said Marks.

Tempering gives the chocolate a smooth, glossy finish. It also prevents it from easily melting on your fingers. It allows it to set up perfectly for dipped items and chocolate-covered treats.

While Just Beecause has a variety of candies, treats and baked goods all year round, Valentine’s Day always brings some unique items.

“We have a lot of fun stuff coming up for Valentine’s Day,” Bellemare said. “We are going to be announcing it on our website as of Monday (Jan. 24).”

“We’re going to have this little dessert for two, we’re kind of announcing it as a love at first bite,” Marks said. “It will be like a sugar cookie with a strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream topped with berries, mini-macarons. It will be a nice little dessert for two.

“We’re bringing back our raspberry frangipan tarts. We’re hoping on having chocolate-covered strawberries, but we’ll see once we get the ingredients in, the fresh strawberries. French macarons and of course our nice boxes of chocolate bonbons.”

Those bonbons are works of art in their own right. They are made in small batches. Each one is hand-crafted by Marks, pairing each flavoured ganache with the perfect chocolate. The chocolate moulds are all hand-painted and airbrushed.

They advise customers to order early for their Valentine specials.

“Those options for Valentine’s Day will all be announced on the website, where they’ll be a photo, a description and price,” Bellemare said. “And then to order, it can done by phone, email or Facebook Messenger.

“Everything for those options is available by pre-order. There will also be items in the display case that can be purchased. But when the time comes for Valentine’s Day, to avoid disappointment, definitely pre-order.”

While still offering birthday cakes, different tarts, cookies and candies by special order, that part of the business is slowed when it comes to special days like Valentine’s Day or holidays like Christmas.

“What we do for the holidays, like any special occasion, we try to come up with certain options that are just easier for customers to view and see the pricing,” Bellemare said. “During holidays, it’s very difficult to accommodate custom orders, with Brianna being the only baker and chocolatier here. We have these little times where we freeze custom orders so we can focus more on the special order and the holiday.”

During the pandemic, Just Beecause has altered its operation to keep serving customers.

“It has changed quite a bit in the last two years,” Marks explained. “We just opened a smaller storefront in our little entrance over Christmas. (Before that) it was all by pre-order. We didn’t allow anyone in the store.

“It was such a small storefront to begin with, it would be hard to control the amount of people who come in.”

Area residents have shown their appreciation of their quality sweets during the COVID crisis.

“It’s been amazing the amount of support we’ve had from everyone in Timmins and outside … people coming from out of town to get little gifts for family members who live in Timmins.”

Despite the challenges presented in the last two years, the sisters are delighted to continue with their unique and sweet business.

“We love coming to work and brightening people’s days,” Marks said. “We love sweetening everybody’s day.

“We’re providing something that’s so much fun for us to produce and we hope everyone enjoys receiving them as much as we do making it.”

Just Beecause Chocolates and Confections is located at 283 Pine St. in Timmins and is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 705-620-0772, visit their website or find them on Facebook.