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Baked Goods

Hermes Bakery

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on September 2, 2011

Hermes Bakery TorontoHermes is a kosher bakery and grocery store on Bathurst just south of Lawrence Avenue. Those in the know avoid Hermes on Friday mornings unless they have lots of time to spare or don't mind congested grocery aisles. That's because people in the community tend to flock to Hermes to pick up a last-minute challah or box of cookies before sundown on Friday (Shabbat), and the little shop can get crowded. Unpleasantly so.

Hermes Bakery TorontoI stop by on a Monday afternoon, and for that reason, I'm in the clear. Unfortunately, though, I found no one who can give me a history about the shop, but my limited knowledge of the area tells me it is certainly not a new arrival. Hermes is perhaps foremost known locally for its freshly baked breads, buns, cookies, and other sweet treats, but it has quite an extensive grocery selection, all of which, of course, is certified kosher.

Hermes Bakery TorontoPart of keeping kosher is not mixing meat and milk products, so for that reason Hermes stocks many dairy-free and meatless takes on conventional items. That is to say--soymilk as well as regular milk, veggie burgers, meatless nuggets, and something called frozen "cauliflower cutlets" ($5.99) that look just like breaded fish.

Hermes Bakery TorontoAs I examine a carton of Tofutti non-dairy ice cream, it strikes me that Hermes would be a good resource for customers beyond just the kosher crowd--notably veggie/vegan types, as well as fickle lactose digesters such as myself who could do with a few more non-dairy options.

Hermes Bakery TorontoThe tricky thing about Hermes for first time visitors, though, is that labels are but meagerly displayed about the store. With the exception of a few printed papers advertising sparkling grape juice as "Two for $7.39" and Glicks Ketchup as "Two for $5," price labels are limited, sometimes just scribbled in pen unremarkably on a box. The options, of course, are ask or take a gamble.

Hermes Bakery TorontoI continue to explore the store, discovering the Paskesz chocolate striped cookies I inexplicably remember from my preschool days, a box in the freezer section of something called "Pizzarogies" (which are probably just as you would assume), and the bakery shelves of cinnamon buns, sprinkle cookies and loaves.

Hermes Bakery TorontoBut the most interesting shelf at Hermes had to be that of its matzo ball mixes, which included everything from spelt matzo balls, whole wheat, and gluten free. Perhaps a little (chicken-less) chicken soup, and you're well on your way to a kosher Friday night.

Hermes Bakery TorontoHermes Bakery TorontoHermes Bakery TorontoPhotos by Jesse Milns



wrgarh / September 2, 2011 at 03:47 pm
haute couture pastries
Stuart Rubenstein / September 16, 2011 at 02:29 pm

This bakery is a class act. They have some of the finest baked goods in the city.

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I would like to uslysht a little more on this topic
Stephen / December 12, 2012 at 02:08 pm
Bakery is a disaster - extremely dirty - no regard for customres - purchased product which was "stale" a number of times; finally decided to talk to the owner about it - owner is unbelievably rude and arrogant - NEVER GOING TO BUY FROM HERMES AGAIN - City should shut this place down for filth! Cutomers should shut this place down for poor customer service!
isakichi replying to a comment from Stephen / January 9, 2013 at 06:11 pm
Stephen is right! They dont have any customer skills.
They just want to grab money...Sad thing is I still go there because this is the only place I know their products are nuts free.
Ari / February 20, 2013 at 10:20 pm
does Hermes sell hamantaschen filling?
Anita / March 6, 2013 at 04:49 pm
I used to go to Hermes with my Mom when I was a little girl - it's been around for awhile. Sadly, the people that work there are now miserable...just horrible. And that guy begging for money between the doors...OMG what is that all about???!

After being in Vancouver for over 12 years and recently moving back with my husband and toddler..I was excited to go back to Hermes and other old haunts around town to show my husband and daughter...How disappointing this visit was. The miserable blank stares from employees is sad. Makes me wonder what the owner is like...typically it's from the top-down... :-( I will find another bakery for our family to continue the tradition that my Mother started when I was a child.
Anita / March 6, 2013 at 04:51 pm
The author states, in part "Unfortunately, though, I found no one who can give me a history about the shop, but my limited knowledge of the area tells me it is certainly not a new arrival".
Now, is that a surprise? No.
Anne / December 7, 2013 at 07:56 pm
But how,s the cheese cake??
Megan / February 20, 2015 at 09:50 am
Comments against the service, or the guy begging....this is a religious Jewish bakery. If you're not religious, as we aren't, you kind of are a guest. We are lucky they even let us non-kosher folk buy their delicious food. Its an old eastern european tradition to have crappy service at bakeries. Some people actually prefer it. Hipsters should think of it as being like Jet Fuel. The sometime crabbyness of the servers, their willingness to tell you to go to Starbucks if you don't like them, is proportionate to the awesomeness of their product. And if a jetfuel barista is actually nice to you, you know its real and it means a lot. The same here. You can't act all entitled they have a captive audience and they are going by different cultural norms. Which have a lot of good qualities. I personally like the guy asking for tzedakah as this community has poor people as well any other. If you are someone offended by the existence of poor people then there are many other bakeries to choose from in this area. although they pretty much all have crabby service towards people who don't respect their business.

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jack kalb / August 9, 2015 at 10:16 am
Owner is very rude. Tried to return some stale pastry. Owner called me a liar as to when I had purchased it. Would not go back
to that bakery.

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