KILLALOE, ONT. -- Killaloe’s claim to fame is the delicious Canadian pastry known as the BeaverTail. Founded in the small town in 1978, Killaloe was about to lose its BeaverTails stand, until Jot Virk stepped in.

“The previous owners were closing down shop and that meant BeaverTails would be leaving the community, and it was this whole thing of how can we save BeaverTails, how can we keep it in Killaloe,” says Virk, the new owner of Killaloe’s only BeaverTails stand. “Being the home of the BeaverTail, it didn’t feel right that we didn’t have a location here.”

Virk is relatively new to the Ottawa Valley, moving to the region in 2019. He also owns the Creekside Grill next to the BeaverTails stand, as well as a pair of grocery stores in Killaloe and Eganville. The stand just opened for the season on Thursday, May 20.

“It’s so humbling and it makes for a great story that a Canadian born Indian can come and be the owner of the original BeaverTail location,” says Virk. “It speaks to the inclusivity of this community and it speaks to the boundaries that we’re trying to break.”

“I’m glad that they took this over because it was kind of going astray here,” says Steve Sernoskie, a local to the area who stopped in to pick up a BeaverTail for his dad. Sernoskie says he remembers back to his childhood when the Hooker family first started selling BeaverTails at the local craft and community fair.

“They started this BeaverTail consumption and it’s worldwide now. It’s in Europe, it’s all over the States, and they’ve got these mobile stands that started in Killaloe back in the ‘70s,” says Sernoskie, waxing about how far a simple local pastry has come. “Great people [the Virks] and they’ve cleaned it up, and I’m sure they’ll do well with this one.”

The purchase of the small stand is a big gesture not only to locals but those who pass through as well, like Perry and France Cornforph, who stopped in from their cottage near Golden Lake.

“Absolutely great, appreciate it,” says Perry of the new owners. “We play cards for it, the winner pays,” adds his wife France.

“It’s been great, we’ve got lots of good feedback,” says Virk. “We introduced lots of new flavours so everyone is excited about those.”

Despite some new creations, there’s still an old classic that harkens back to the birthplace of the BeaverTail, the Killaloe Sunrise. It’s the classic BeaverTail with sugar and cinnamon, but with a bit of lemon juice added.

“I had my first BeaverTail when I was in training for setting up this location,” admits Virk. “And I did have the Killaloe Sunrise, so putting that out there, that was my very first BeaverTail!”

Killaloe Sunrise

Like in most small towns, news travels fast, and news of the stand’s opening was drawing cottagers, cyclists, bikers, children, and families at the start of this holiday weekend.

“We want to put a smile on everyone’s faces, that’s our main goal,” says Virk of what he expects this summer, hopeful of restrictions continuing to lift. “So come get a nice treat and walk away happy.”