Sunday, July 19, 2009

Niagara On The Lake, Then and Now: The Niagara Home Bakery closes

The Niagara Home Bakery, a fixture on Queen St. in Niagara-On-The-Lake for decades, closed yesterday, on Jul.18, 2009.

Below, as seen on Jul.10, 2009 - passersby are tempted by the pastry display in the Niagara Home Bakery's storefront window. The square sign at the side read: "still using old stone brick oven"; the oval sign read "circa 1875". below: Jul.10, 2009 - looking closer into the storefront window, there were wonderful scones and custard squares and peach tarts, Irish cream bars and brownies. There were strawberry-rhubarb pies and apple pies, shortbread cookies and festive red-and-white Empire Biscuits. There was baklava and a bevy of tarts - butter, walnut, coconut, almond, pecan . . .

and . . .

. . . there was a hand written sign with this sad announcement:
"After 72 years of the Albrechtsen family owning and operating the Niagara Home Bakery, 2 remaining family members have sold the bakery to someone else. Last day for the Albrechtsen's will be July 18, 2009".
above: same view, Jul.19, 2009 - the marble-tiled front window display, which throughout these last decades had held so many delicious and tempting treats, is now bare; only the sign remains.
below: Jul.10, 2009 - interior of the bakery shop, with its various Royals in posters and plates on the walls. On the display table at the left were brioches, croissants, and gigantic, tasty cinnamon buns.

above: same view, Jul.19, 2009 - the doors are closed and the shelves are bare; the Royals have been removed from their lofty perches.
below: Jul. 10, 2009 - interior view of the shop, when its display cases brimmed with cookies and pies.

above: same view, Jul.19, 2009 - the shop is now empty.
below: Jul.10, 2009 - view of the old marble soda fountain which was located at the rear of the store. A handwritten sign reads: "Patent 1874, soda fountain, I'm retired". I've no idea when this classic piece of equipment was last used as a working soda fountain - I first recall seeing it here in the bakery at least twenty five years ago, and it was already then not in use. The nameplate over the centre spigot reads: "The Arctic, made by James W. Tufts". The spigot at the left reads: "Deep Rock"; the one at the right says "Seltzer". The bottom row of taps read, from left: Coffee, Lemon, Vanilla, Sarsap'la (sic), Pineapple, Nectar, Ginger, (then behind the sign were two taps -I believe Raspberry, then possibly Chocolate) and the last was "Strawb'ry".

above: Jul.10, 2009 - view of the rear case displaying delectable quiche, steak and kidney pies, spicy and mild beef rolls, Scotch pies, Cornish pasties, and bridies.
below: Jul.19, 2009 - people stroll by the now-empty storefront of the former Niagara Home Bakery; a chapter here has ended, a new one is to begin, fond memories remain.

The above photos in this essay are by R. Bobak.

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