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.