For many Invermere residents, there’s never been a time when the Quality Bakery was not around.
It’s become a popular spot for early-morning coffee and breakfast goods, lunch breaks, catering and more.
There was a time, though, when the Quality Bakery was a different sort of business, in a different location, with different products and management.
This evolution from the bakery’s origins to now has been a process of 30 years, and the Quality Bakery will be celebrating that 30-year-mark on July 9.
All are invited to the birthday event at the Quality Bakery, where speciality cakes and store sales will mark the occasion.
The bakery was first established in 1956 by Dutch baker Jan Van Driel. Austrian baker Rudy Laresser took control on the bakery in 1964.
It wasn’t until 1981 that current owner, Peter Banga of Switzerland, became the owner of the bakery, and has operated the establishment ever since.
“I was working for them, then I bought it,” said Banga. “At that time it was in a different location. It used to be near the Family Bistro and Restaurant.”
It would not be there for long, though. The bakery moved to the corner by the Best Western Invermere Inn, and then to its current location at 1305 7th Avenue in 1991.
“It’s expanded, but not too much,” said Banga. “We were always quite a big business.”
Back in the 1980s, the Quality Bakery was half whole-sale and half retail.
Now, however, it is mostly retail — almost 85 per cent so, according to Banga.
“That was the biggest change,” said Banga. “In the beginning, we didn’t have coffee and seating. Once we had that, that changed sales, and we had coffee and more savoury items and pastries. I remember we were the second business in town with a cappuccino machine.”
Thirty years ago, the Quality Bakery did not have a specific vision or goal.
“We were the only bakery in town,” said Banga. “We just wanted to get stuff out the door. We did 100 per cent of the bread business, but then more companies came in, an that’s one of the reasons why we had to go to more retail.”
The Quality Bakery of old once has a number system, similar to a deli.
Customers would line up and out the door at times waiting for their numbers and orders to be called.
“We used to have a huge crowd from Calgary in the summer,” recalled Banga.
Currently, the Quality Bakery serves over 400 different products.
These products have also changed over time to match the shift for variety and other speciality goods, such as gluten-free products.
“We focus on the name, ‘quality’,” said Banga. “We’re going to continue doing what we’re doing now, and do it as well as possible.
“It’s my belief that we don’t need to grow, but instead maintain and increase our quality.”
For more information about the Quality Bakery or its upcoming birthday event, call 250-342-4422 or visit www.healthybread.com