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Long-running Richmond bakery closing after 61 years

Changing demographics, diets and pandemic put paid to Broadmoor Bakery at Williams and No. 3 roads

One of Richmond’s longest running bakeries, Broadmoor Bakery, is closing after serving the community for more than 61 years.

The independent Dutch-style bakery, at Broadmoor Shopping Centre at No. 3 and Williams roads, changed hands five years ago but continued to be a favourite for Richmondites.

According to a post on its Facebook page in the early hours of Tuesday, the bakery said it wanted to “…sadly announce our last business day is Saturday, June 27th, 2020. Farewell, my friends!”

Bakery owner Tom Hsu told the Richmond News that the city’s changing demographic, people’s diets and the pandemic all played a part in his decision to call it a day.

“Richmond has gone through a lot of changes in those 61 years and I think the demand for a Dutch bakery has been going down for many years as the Dutch immigrants moved away from the area,” said Hsu.

“They’ve moved to places like Abbottsford and Langley. We have some members of the senior (Dutch) community who still come in, but it’s like once a week. Even those customers are fading away, moving out of Richmond. There is no new generation of customers.

“Also, people’s eating habits have changed, they’re eating less bread. We had lots of customers from different ethnicities, but they’re just eating less bread and bakery. Society has changed. Lots of things change.”

Hsu said he always got a rush of orders around Christmas time but he “needed more steady customers” to keep things going.

And he said the fact that his five-year lease is up for renewal later this year made the decision to close timely.

“We had to make a decision to continue for another five years or not,” Hsu added.

Hsu said he and his wife tried to keep the bakery open during the pandemic, but he simply couldn’t get the staff to come in to help.

“I had to do everything and I was getting too much stress.”

However, it may not be absolute end for Broadmoor Bakery, as Hsu harbours the thought of opening up somewhere else, but not as it used to be.

“We still own the name. So we may try to open up again elsewhere…Maybe not retail, maybe wholesale or made to order,” he said.

“I think it will depend on the pandemic situation and how that all goes. We still have all the recipes.”

Meanwhile, loyal customers paid tribute on the Facebook post, many recalling growing up with the bakery’s home-made produce.

“I’m so shocked and saddened! I’ve grown up eating your treats. We always had your cakes at our family’s birthdays. I’m really going to miss you!” wrote Renee Mary Elizabeth.

Robyn Ross said, “Aww bye loved growing up on your bread and cinnamon knots!”

While Lori Campion said she loved their peanut butter and birds nest cookies.