Rideau Bakery closes its doors

A 2011 view of the Rideau Bakery storefront. (Flickr)

A 2011 view of the Rideau Bakery storefront. (Flickr)

Baked goods on display in undated photo from Rideau Bakery’s Facebook page.

Baked goods on display in undated photo from Rideau Bakery’s Facebook page.

The news broke on the Ottawa Kosher Foodies Facebook group late on Friday afternoon (June 28) that Rideau Bakery had gone out of business.

An institution in Ottawa’s Jewish community – and well beyond – the kosher bakery was run by three generations of the Kardish family for almost nine decades and had two locations, on Rideau Street, in the neighbourhood where Ottawa’s Jewish community was once concentrated, and a second location on Bank Street in the Alta Vista area. Rideau Bakery also supplied breads and other baked goods to numerous other retail outlets in the Ottawa area.

Rideau Bakery was particularly well known for its popular rye and challah loaves and cakes.

The Rideau Bakery website notes, “Rideau Bakery has been family owned and operated since 1930.

“Brothers David and Abie opened Rideau Bakery at Rideau and Nelson (just down the street from our current store). They followed recipes that their mother Rivka had used to make bread in the Ukraine. They survived the Depression by employing their brothers, sisters and children.

“A second generation of owners, four of David’s sons, Louie, Sam, Moe and Issie, took over the business and, with the help of three of their sisters, Jennie, Libby and Ann, developed and grew the business.

“A third generation now runs the company. David Kardish can usually be found at the Rideau Street store and his brother, Louis Kardish is at the Bank Street store.”

News of the closure began to spread online when Aviva Aptowitzer Rotenberg, a co-founder of Ottawa Kosher Foodies, a Facebook group with more than 800 members, posted, “Breaking news: As of today, Rideau Bakery has closed its doors. A very sad day in Ottawa,” at 6:20 pm on Friday. More than 100 members soon posted comments lamenting the loss of the business.

In addition to its loyal customers, the closure of Rideau Bakery took its staff by surprise. “The staff didn’t know,” wrote Aptowitzer Rotenberg in a follow-up comment. “My mom worked here and had zero notice. Really upsetting,” added Hollie Sabourin.

17 Comments

  1. Jean-Pierre Petit says

    It was an institution that crosses many cultures and traditions. I will miss them dearly.

  2. Rich Bowie says

    I grew up eating the Egg and Rye breads.Smoked meat on light Rye,toasted rye with peanut butter,Sherwood deli with egg bread and chicken.A very sad day

  3. Steve Blais says

    A sad day for one of Ottawa’s beloved institutions. Thank you for giving comfort to so many for so long.
    Steve Blais Sr

  4. Len Heitin says

    It is truly a sad day. When I went to my gym on Chapel on Sundays, it was a a ritual to pick up a light rye bread. As a Montrealer, I would rate Rideau’s rye the best ever.

  5. Elly Bollegraaf says

    Wow! This is a very big loss to so many. The Kardish extended family who spend so much of their working lives in creating and offering to so many their terrific baking, especially the wonderfully comforting and tasty rye bread and challlah, are to be congratulated for their hard work and wonderful products. All of Ottawa, Jewish and otherwise, will greatly miss this “stable, dependable, and excellent “institution” of which we were all so proud.

    Elly Bollegraaf, 472 Edison Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K2A 1T9

  6. Sam Azimi says

    I am very sad and very upset, why did this happen to a bakery that produced the best rye bread in Canada!!

    I have known the late Mr. David Kardash who left his practice as a lawyer to be part of this successful business with his family, just to keep the wheels rolling, I used to visit him at midnight at the Bank Street location, him and all others at the bakery were extremely dedicated to the quality and pride of their work, let alone the sincere dedication.

    I truly hope that a family member will reverse this decision and keep Rideau Bakery in operation.

    Sam Azimi

  7. Louis Des Rosiers says

    My favourite Rideau Bakey rye bread is the dark pumpernickel that I ask to cut in thin slice. The greatest unique rye bread I have ever eaten. This recipe is unique. I will truly miss it.

  8. Ginny Bociek says

    I was raised in Ottawa and we accompanied our Mom to the bakery on many occasions as young children. We are visiting from Vancouver for Canada Day and I’m shocked and saddened to hear that this beloved family business has closed its doors. Thank you for all of your hard work and wonderful service for so many years. An irreplaceable loss to the community.

  9. Don Orth says

    This is so tragic…Rideau Bakery makes the best rye bread in Canada!! I really hope that the business can be sold to someone who will keep it going and maintain the same product line.

  10. Steve Elman says

    Well, my family and friends won’t need their extra suitcase to bring out rye bread to Vancouver Island anymore. First no smoked meet from Nates and now this. I feel lost. I grew up in Ottawa and one of my fondest memories was to go with my father on Sunday morning to get fres rolls out of the oven brunch.

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