By Winnie Tam
When Steveston Bakery opened in 1989, the road wasn’t yet paved and there were barely any other businesses nearby.
Today, Steveston is one of Richmond’s most beloved and bustling neighbourhoods, with lots to see and eat for locals and tourists alike. And while the surroundings of Steveston Bakery have changed dramatically, husband-and-wife owners Hemant and Bimla Rao’s commitment to quality in their food and baked goods hasn’t budged one bit. The lineups that appear daily in their bakery are the best proof.
The shop is the kind of friendly neighbourhood place that every town dreams of. Since moving from Fiji to Canada in the early 80s, the couple has established a regular fan base for their bakery; in fact, some patrons have been visiting nearly every day since it opened (yes, it’s open seven days a week). Hemant jokes that some people call his bakery Steveston’s “second community centre.”
It’s no wonder. Every day, Hemant and his bakers serve up a dizzying assortment of goodies, all made fresh in the bakery. There are different flavours of muffins and scones, turnovers, cookies, buns, bread loaves, cheesecakes, croissants, bagels and much more. Customers can also enjoy all-day breakfast and lunch, with daily specials for each, and a vegetarian and a meat-based soup option every day. Like their baked goods, the Raos buy their groceries fresh daily and make all the food and soups, including the soup stock, in-house from scratch.
One of customers’ favourites is the sourdough bread loaf. If you go there on a Saturday, you can get it for just 99 cents – the same price it was when Steveston Bakery opened 28 years ago.
Don’t be intimidated by the lineup – service is friendly and speedy and it’s definitely worth the short wait.
Opening hours: 7 am-6 pm Monday to Saturday; 8 am-5 pm Sundays and holidays.