Markus the Bikery
(photo by Tim Ford)

Victoria’s first-ever kosher bakery officially opened its doors on Friday, in the downtown Victoria Public Market.

“Friday is the day we are officially welcoming the community to enjoy all the savouries and sweets we have to offer, including our popular falafel sandwiches,” said owner Markus Spodzieja.

“We did a soft launch a few months ago to get our new home in the Victoria Public Market ready to offer our incredible range of kosher baked goods.”

Spodzieja got into baking through his family. His father is a chef, and growing up food was a constant fallback.

Initially, however, baking wasn’t Spodzieja’s first career choice.

“I actually went to school for acting,” he told Victoria Buzz. “I was the guy who would show up to rehearsals and study groups and whatnot and brought the baked goods.”

After university, Spodzieja pursued acting for a time. But in 2017, when the City of Victoria began their Mobile Bicycle Vending project, he saw an opportunity.

“I decided I would start doing pretzels because I didn’t see pretzels anywhere in the city,” he said.

“That transformed into bread over the pandemic. Then I started doing challahs and working with the Jewish community, and found my way here.”

A mobile business with a permanent home

Now he’s taken the next step for his business and opened his own storefront.

The baker says he is environmentally focused in his business. The Bikery uses an all-electric kitchen and offers delivery service by bicycle or by Electric Vehicle.

Spodzieja is also following the Judaic standard of pareve, which he says calls for food that is not meat or dairy, including fish, eggs, and plant-based foods. That also means most of the menu is vegan.

With the grand opening on August 13, the Bikery will now have a permanent home that’s open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

People were already lining up almost out the door just after 12 p.m. at the Bikery on Friday.

“We’ve had a really great reception,” Spodzieja said with a laugh as he loaded another customer up with bread and sweets.

“I’m super, super humbled and proud to have as many connections as I do here in the city. I finally have a space to say ‘hey, come find me.’ You don’t have to track me down at some random street corner.”

Subscribe to the Victoria Buzz newsletter to receive the latest news, events and more directly to your inbox. Every day.