A popular bakery on the Saanich Peninsula is closing its oven doors for good after 21 years of baking.
Breadstuffs Bakery owners Rita Cooney and Dale Carter have been in business since their late teens and early 20’s, and now plan to take some time off to “reassess our lives and to see what the universe offers us”.
“This is a tough business; when you’re in, you’re all-in. It’s everything we do.” Rita said. “It’s time to clear our heads and see what to do next.”
Breadstuffs is known for its artisanal breads, cakes and pies, although it has also branched out into deli items, speciality bakes and conserves. Rita and Dale also owned the ‘Screaming Bird Cafe’ until 4 years ago, which served a seated cafe version of their popular dishes.
“Since closing we’ve been showered with love,” said Rita. “People have been stopping by to say how sorry they are to see us go. We’ve had some lovely goodbyes.”
Part of the reason Rita and Dale will be missed is because of their charity work. They have regularly made food for Music in the Park and have catered the desserts for church Christmas dinners, for 16 years.
Rita rates their greatest achievement as, “creating a space that’s comfortable for customers to be in, that’s welcoming.”
And if any regular customers are dismayed at the end of Breadstuffs, Rita has offered some hope regarding her famous jams and chutneys. When asked if she would still make them she replied, “Yes! I’ve made them since I was 18. I’ll maybe sell them at markets.”
The bakery’s last day will be Jan. 26.