(The Bikery/Instagram)

Victoria’s beloved kosher bakery, the Bikery, has announced that they are closing up shop in order to pursue matters close to their heart. 

Owner and self-proclaimed bakerman, Markus Spodzieja announced on the Bikery’s website early in December that he is closing up on December 23rd. Until then, it’ll be business as usual for Spodzieja, taking orders for both pickup and delivery until their last day. 

He announced on his website that the bakery will open once more in the new year under new ownership and a new name. 

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“I know this may come as a surprise to some of you, honestly I’m still processing it myself,” Spodzieja wrote in a farewell address to his customers. 

He and his wife have contemplated all options but at the end of the day they have opted to prioritize their loved ones and will be moving across the country to Nova Scotia to care for an elderly member of their family.

“This has been many months of decision making and planning, but with so many unknown variables we waited to announce this until we were sure that all of the pieces fit,” wrote Spodzieja. 

“Especially as we wanted to pass the torch on to someone who shared our values.”

The Bikery began in 2017 as a mobile bike vending pilot project through the City of Victoria. Spodzieja rented a kitchen space and delivered baked goods from his bicycle. 

“I just kind of noodled around and sold pretzels from the back of my bike as a side gig,” Spodzieja told Victoria Buzz.

In 2019, he was able to make the Bikery a full-time endeavour baking, delivering and doing farmers markets. 

“I believe I did Wednesday to Sunday doing office trips while still just making pretzels at that time,” said Spodzieja.

“Then when the pandemic hit, that’s when it all started to really take off.”

He developed and expanded his menu in 2020 to include bread and challah, pita and bagels. Through the challah he made, Spodzieja connected with the Jewish community and realized there was no certified kosher bakery on Vancouver Island.

His business that started as a pilot project to make minimal effect on the environment grew over the years and wound up being the first and only kosher bakery on Vancouver island with thousands of customers salivating over his baked goods. 

Spodzieja says to date he has sold over 7,000 loaves of challah, which is braided bread traditionally eaten on Shabbat, and over 25,000 each of both pretzels and bagels. 

The Bikery has now sent their challahs all over the country and they say their products have even made their way all the way to Hawaii. 

Despite the move to leave Victoria, Spodzieja did have some good news for the Jewish community and lovers of baked bread. In his announcement of the Bikery’s last days, he announced another kosher bakery called My Way Bakery would be taking over the business and its space at 1701 Douglas Street.

My Way Bakery’s owners Moshe and Leah will be taking over and the Bikery’s space will provide them with their first brick and mortar location. They will be running their new space as a family-run operation. 

“They were actually one of my first customers when we opened in the market as a kosher bakery,” Spodzieja told Victoria Buzz.

The couple were trying to open their own kosher bakery and were seeking Spodzieja’s advice when he told them that he was planning on selling.

They came to a mutual agreement and Spodzieja is now passing the reins on to them. 

Moshe and Leah will be bringing some new products to the bakery and Spodzieja is even passing along some of his most iconic recipes to the new ownership duo, including the vegan, kosher bagel.

They’ve even decided to combine their bakery’s name with current name of the business to create what will be the ‘My Way Bikery.’

Moshe and Leah have agreed to honour any and all gift cards that still retain the Bikery’s name from their business.

“It’s been a journey,” Spodzieja said as a last message to his loyal customers. “I didn’t know where the road would take me when I got on this bike, but I’m extremely happy for where we ended up.”

“I look forward to seeing My Way Bikery take off in the same fashion, and to see some of your smiling faces in the bakery over the next few weeks.”

My Way Bikery will be opening their doors to customers beginning on January 3rd. 

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