St. John’s Bakery – Riverside Business Profile Series

St. John’s Bakery 

Unbeknownst to many locals, St. John’s Bakery on Broadview Ave. is a destination for bread lovers all over Toronto and beyond.

“People drive for miles just to come to our little place.” says bakery manager Shawn Burk. “On a Saturday it’s packed all morning.”

Not only that, but the bakery’s 13 varieties of sourdough bread is sold at over 40 high-end grocery stores across Toronto, including Pusateri’s in Yorkville. St. John’s signature Cilantro Olive Loaf has won numerous awards.

In addition to pumping out fresh organic bread every day, St. John’s Bakery offers paid hands-on training to marginalized individuals in need of both compassion and work experience. The bake shop’s employment success rate is 100 percent.

“We had one guy who was on the street for 25 years,” says Shawn. “By the end of it, he was a lead baker.”

The diversity of the people in Riverside is one of Shawn’s favourite things about living and working here. “It’s a neighbourhood that has every walk of life,” he says. “There’s something different about Riverside and it just feels comfortable.” 

Owned and operated by St. John the Compassionate Mission since 2001, the bakery is open five days a week. Any bread that hasn’t sold by the end of the day is donated to the mission which serves over 60,000 meals a year in Riverside.

Karen Lloyd from Riverside

Karen Lloyd is a writer, photographer and website designer in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood. This blog is part of the series Riverside Business Profile. Read other blogs from her: Riverside PatiosPlaces to Stay in RiversideBrunch SpotsHealth & Wellness in Riverside,  Kid-Friendly RiversideEvent & Catering SpotsRiverside ChefsSelf-Care in RiversideIt’s Easy Being Green in RiversideThe Dirt on Gardening in RiversideEat Around the World in Riverside, and Saying ‘I Do’ East of the Don.