Tasty Treatz
Treatz Bakehouse and Café
Sausage & cheese croissant (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)

A nomination and subsequent win in the category for Cake and Pastry Artist of the Year for the Caribbean Wedding Awards 2018 led to a trip to Jamaica for Trinbagonian pastry chef and chocolatier Michelle Sohan. Enchanted by the beauty and inspiration the island presented, she decided there and then to make it not only her future home, but the location of Treatz Bakehouse & Cafe.

The bakehouse has, in just under a month, captured the imagination and taste buds of patrons. The positive reviews on Instagram and recommendations in WhatsApp group chats have led to lovers of sweet treats making their way to the Annex in Fairview, Montego Bay.

"We [my husband and I] came back February 2020, after a second visit in January 2019, and secured our current location. Went back to Trinidad and upon return it was lockdown due to the pandemic. So, we literally designed and executed construction through e-mail and WhatsApp during the pandemic," Sohan explained.

The ingredients that went into Treatz Bakehouse & Cafe were also painful, as they included a cancer diagnosis and a car accident resulting in damage to her left shoulder and hand. However, the leavening agent has been added, with an all-clear from her doctors, ongoing physiotherapy, and the eventual opening and offerings well-received. With husband Justin Marchack, the mastermind behind the croissants, breads and cookies and Sohan specialising in cakes.

"We have been experimenting with different offerings and getting feedback from customers on what works for them. We do a Chicken Waldorf Sandwich with variations using Scotchie's jerk chicken or chicken vienna sausages with cheese. Our tiramisu is made with espresso and Blackwell Rum and chocolate bon bons with Sangster's Rum Cream or Baileys. We infuse items with guava, mango, strawberry, coconut and passion fruit and the feedback has been positive," Sohan added.

"You can't come here and be on a diet! I tell my customers on weekends we have no calories in here. The baking area is my playroom where I experiment. We have been switching around stuff, trying different things based on what flavours customers have been asking for and it's been an exciting adventure," Sohan added further.

Interestingly, Sohan started out not liking the kitchen and doing everything to avoid it. Chores that involved ironing, washing and cleaning were preferred.

"If I go back to how I started baking, the first thing that will cross my mind is that this girl needs a bush bath. I actually never liked the kitchen in high school; my home economics teacher told me the kitchen wasn't for me. My older sister cooked and my younger sister baked. We had a cake sale at university and I had to bribe my sister, by rubbing her feet for a week, to do the baking for me. After the cake sales persons asked if we were taking orders, I bribed her again with a month of foot rubbing to bake, and then I started researching, going to the library and getting help from my sister. Literally, that is how I started," Sohan stated.

PS: One reason for the need for a bush bath, is that Sohan considers herself accident-prone. While attending university she was working at a factory and fell down a flight of stairs cracking a bone in her neck. Unable to return to work the cake sale idea was birthed.

— Text & Photos by Aceion Cunningham

Treatz Bakehouse & Café

Address: Shop 25 Annex Plaza, Fairview, Montego Bay

Telephone: 876-423-0406

Justin Marchack and wife Michelle Sohan install the sign for the new Treatz Bakehouse & Cafe in Fairview, Montego Bay. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Macarons (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Michelle Sohan, certified cake artist and chocolatier, with one of her cake creations. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
The entry to Treatz Bakehouse and Café at the Annex Plaza in Fairview, Montego Bay. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Menu boards made from paper... the experimentation is ongoing. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
The interior of Treatz Bakehouse & Café (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Treatz Bakehouse & Café utilised Mara Made furnishings and also had Isiaa Madden as consulting architect. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Shanice Gore poses in front of the Joavan Puran mural. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Cake jars (from left) strawberry cheesecake, Nutella, and brownie mudslide (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Tiramisu with mascarpone, and sponge soaked with espresso and Blackwell rum (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Piña colada (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Sourdough country loaf (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Focaccia with fresh mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Cookies (from left) double chocolate, red velvet, and chocolate and walnut (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Almond croissant (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Eclairs: Chocolate cream (left) and strawberry with vanilla bean (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Treatz box assortment with choc dipped strawberries, macarons, and truffles (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Chocolate cupcakes (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Strawberry and cream croissant (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)

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