Golden Grain Bakery has been a Sudbury Landmark for 85 Years

Golden Grain Locations

Golden Grain Bakery

This photo was taken at Golden Grain Bakery’s original location on Minto Lane. Note the firewood piled up by the door for the ovens.

Peter Andlar came to Canada in 1928 at the age of 23, leaving his wife Frances behind as he made the journey by ship with $25 in his pocket. He travelled from his home town Delnice in Croatia to the port in Hamburg, Germany where he boarded ship on July 21, 1928. He arrived in Quebec eleven days later and took the train to Winnipeg where he hoped to find a job. Soon after his arrival there he heard about the mining jobs in Sudbury and travelled east again where he was able to find work at Creighton Mine. He rented a house on Minto Lane (where the Doghouse Sports Bar is today) and soon began baking bread in the basement after he worked his shift in the mine. Having grown up on a farm Peter was privy to the recipes his family had used for generations. Originally, Peter worked with his friend and partner in business, Joe Mihelcic who passsed away in 1984.
At the time housewives were looking to purchase bread instead of baking it themselves every day and the many single miners who lived in Sudbury were unable to bake their own bread so Peter filled the niche at the right time. Once Peter decided he could make a living and raise a family in Sudbury he went back to Croatia to bring his wife Frances to her new home.

 

Golden Grain Bakery Brady Street

Golden Grain Bakery on Brady Street in the early 1960s is on the right while the original location of Cortina Pizza is on the left.

He quit his job at Creighton Mine and opened his bakery full time. In 1936 Peter and Frances decided to build a new bakery on Brady Street that would offer them more space to expand and had living quarters above for their family.

At the time there were only two houses on the street and Palm Dairies was located just around the corner. There was a swamp where Tom Davies Square is today and Sudbury Steam Cleaners could be seen across the swamp. Peter baked in the early morning hours and then delivered his product to his customers while Frances minded the store. In the early days, bread was delivered daily much the same as milk. Frances helped out in the bakery and raised the couple’s two boys Peter Jr. and John. At the time plastic was not yet invented and Frances would wrap loaves of bread in waxed paper, sealing them with her steam iron. Though pre-sliced loaves of bread were still a novelty as most people preferred their bread unsliced, Frances would also operate the manual slicer which would cut one loaf at a time.

John Sr. with his brother Peter worked in a bakery at an early age. They used to go with their father on his bread delivery routes throughout the Greater Sudbury region. They had a delivery truck but there was no heat in it and so in winter delivering the bread was a cold process. When roads were too snow filled John Sr. and his brother Peter would load the baked goods onto a toboggan and continue their delivery route on foot.
As his customer base grew, Peter Sr. expanded the bakery and his product lines. He also oversaw the modernization of the bakery where the old wood-fired bake ovens were replaced with natural gas steam ovens eliminating the need for cords of wood which his sons, not so fondly, remember having to chop. Peter Sr. delivered bread to many immigrant families and picked up their languages as well as recipes for other European type breads they requested.

Peter and Frances Andlar retired in 1983 and left their sons Peter Jr. and John to run the company. Peter and his wife Frances passed away within months of each other in 1997 after having shared 75 years of marriage.

The family bakery was left in the hands of their sons Peter Jr. and John who had been working at the bakery since they were young. The brothers continued the baking tradition set by their father preferring to keep the old family recipes which required more time and preparation to make instead of using new ingredients fortified with preservatives and other chemicals that made baking bread a quicker process.

By this time, Golden Grain Bakery had become known throughout the north. Visitors to the city would make certain to stop in the store to stock up on a supply of breads and pastries to take back home with them and to this day Golden Grain Bakery has even shipped their baked goods to people as far away as Texas. They continued the expansion of the business increasing the bakery’s size more than four times from when it was originally built.

John and David Andlar

David (left) and his brother John Andlar Jr. have been managing Golden Grain Bakery since 2000.

In 2000, Peter Jr. retired and John Jr. and his brother David bought their uncle’s share of the family business. Having worked at Golden Grain Bakery from a young age they have learned the family’s recipes and manage the day to day operation of the business.

John Jr. and David are in the process of making plans to expand Golden Grain Bakery’s product lines. They want to provide deli style sandwiches for their customers as well as adding homemade pasta, sauces and other items to the menu. It’s something customers have been asking for so watch for these and many other new changes in the near future.

loaves of rye bread

Fresh loaves of rye bread just out of the oven.

Despite all the changes over the years, the important things won’t ever change. The smell of baking bread will continue to fill the store and John Jr., David and their team are committed to providing the best quality and best tasting breads, buns and pastries that they have been known for over the years. Every day Golden Grain Bakery mixes and bakes its breads according to the same recipes that have remained unchanged for more than 80 years. Golden Grain still makes their breads without the preservatives that many commercial bakeries use to keep bread fresher longer.

Everyone has their favourite type of Golden Grain bread but there are over a dozen to try including, white sliced, whole wheat, french stick, light and dark rye, caraway and marble ryes, braided, white round, multigrain, flax seed, baguettes, Italian, double high and potato breads. Golden Grain also offers loaves of prepared garlic bread plain or with cheese.

Butter tarts

All of Golden Grain Bakery’s treats like these butter tarts are fresh made daily.

Buns and rolls are also made fresh daily and can be purchased singly, by the dozen or in large orders for family gatherings, parties and other occasions. Choose from traditional dinner rolls, crusty rolls. Kaizer rolls, whole wheat or rye buns, peewee buns, panini buns, raisin buns, hamburger and hot dog buns. Golden Grain also makes pizza shells so all you have to do is add your own toppings.

If you are looking for something sweeter, Golden Grain bakes a variety of pastries every day but you have to come early because many of these old favourites are scooped up off the shelves by eager customers. Pastries include butter croissants, chocolate croissants, muffins, apple turnovers, butter tarts, glazed and
frosted cinnamon rolls, butter danishes, fresh baked pies and a variety of cookies. All of Golden Grain’s breads, buns and pastries can be custom ordered when you need larger quantities for special events or family gatherings. John Jr,, David and the staff at Golden Grain will be happy to help you select what you need.

Golden Grain Bakery Staff

John and David Andlar (left) and their team at Golden Grain Bakery.

Friendly faces can always be expected as many of the staff members have been working at the bakery for decades and have developed a special rapport with customers who have themselves been supporting Golden Grain for many years. John Jr. and David would like to thank all their customers, their hard working team and their suppliers for their support and loyalty that has been shown to their family over the last 80 years.

“I used to think an ocean of soda existed, but it was just a Fanta sea.” Bec Hill

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