Bear in mind THIS: A lot of remember sizzling cross buns from Riddell’s Bakery

In this week’s column, Heritage Hound Richard MacLeod highlights two very well-loved community firms, Geer and Byers, and Riddell’s Bakery

I constantly get pleasure from stepping again in time and searching at nearby firms that were prominent, and the personalities who ran these beloved enterprises.

A lot of of you may possibly remember Geer and Byers, which was situated on Botsford Avenue from 1933 to 1955. W.J. Geer procured the making and the taxi business from Edward Boyd, who was our own Ted Boyd’s grandfather. He had operated a livery throughout from the Previous City Hall, subsequent doorway to the Metropolitan Railroad station, for several years prior to paying for the making where by Ted Boyd Insurance coverage is now found.

When Geer obtained the company, he took possession of the developing, an previous vehicle and a few of horses. The building was a two-story crimson brick making that had served as a livery and garage for a long time. Unfortunately, that building was eradicated decades in the past.

At any time the entrepreneur, Geer branched out into the coal, wooden, ice and gravel organization. He was also involved in a transport business, as perfectly as serving as a sales agent for Cockshutt Farm Machinery, Tudhope Farm Products, Frost and Woods milking devices and a selection of other farm items.

As if that was not more than enough, he would pick up and deliver the mail from the arriving trains a number of times a day. When I glance at previous pics, I see gasoline tanks in a row in entrance of the garage. Considering the fact that this was the growth period for the car, to be a motor vehicle mechanic and personal a petrol business enterprise was a shrewd business selection.

In 1938, a younger 19-yr-old George Byers began to function for Geer. In 1943, the organization was renamed Newmarket Motors immediately after it obtained a Dodge DeSoto dealership. This new organization was extra to the taxi company, which at that time experienced two 1938 Fords in its fleet.

In 1951, the dealership moved from Dodge DeSoto to Chev-Olds. They also additional a Frigidaire Appliance outlet. The arrangement in between Geer and Byers was formalized, and the company turned Geer and Byers. At this time, a new auto entire body and fix store was built at the back again of the making.

A curling club was when situated on Park Avenue, throughout from the United Church. Geer secured the outdated steel sheds (barns) from Mr. Bosworth and commenced to retail outlet coal there. In the coming many years, the old barns ended up torn down, and Geer marketed his coal pursuits.

In the intervening yrs, Bob Bunn operated a barbershop there, the Bray Chick Hatchery was situated on the floor flooring, and the Department of Agriculture occupied the 2nd flooring.

The small business experienced a measure of progress above the several years. It had commenced with 4 employees and had expanded to 25 employees by the time the enterprise was bought to Mr. Winder. Just after the sale, Geer retired, and Byers moved on to a new situation with Golden Mile Motors.

Both of those the names Geer and Byer grew to become synonymous with Newmarket company and excellence of provider for additional than 20 years.

The second business that I would like to profile is Riddell’s Bakery.

I am positive that lots of of you will remember Riddell’s Bakery as it operated for more than 29 a long time, promoting its scrumptious bread, rolls, cakes and pastries both of those retail and wholesale from their keep and on a delivery foundation.

Riddell’s Bakery experienced its beginnings on Prospect Street in May 1927, when Leslie, Dan and David Riddell commenced baking in a constructing designed and owned by George Baker. In need to have of a warmer spot in which to function, they moved to the southwest corner of Queen and Primary streets in January 1928.

In March 1929, they would all over again relocate, this time to 241 Most important St., the past site of a bakery set up by A.M. Scott and operated involving 1915 and 1922. This locale would later host the Broadbent Bakery and the Fine Cake Shop.

For more than 25 many years, the creating would also serve as the house of some of the Riddell relatives users, until finally the a few brothers ultimately married and established up households of their personal.

The family would endure some early tragedies, with Leslie Riddell losing an arm in a work-associated incident in 1931, and in 1938, their father handed.

You may recall that the loved ones lived on the next flooring, the bakery was in the basement, and the retail business enterprise operated on the ground ground.

My grandmother remembered that the deliveries were being created by horse and wagon in the starting, while place orders were shipped by one particular truck. As their company grew, so did the shipping potential, with 22 vans covering the city and two trucks servicing their country’s consumers.

Their client territory was, for the time, really expansive. They shipped as considerably north as Keswick, east to Mount Albert, south as far as Vandorf and west as considerably as Kettleby. They also appreciated a large clientele in Newmarket good. Their routine was as follows: in the town, it was daily, though 6 state routes ended up protected 2 times a 7 days. At that time, state roads ended up even now unpaved, making delivery hard, specifically in the winter and spring.

Some of you might remember that bread at that time was sold unwrapped, but in the 1930s, wrapped bread was introduced together with sliced bread. This, of training course, necessitated a diploma of mechanization that would verify high-priced. Throughout the Melancholy, a 1-and-a-50 percent pound loaf of bread was sold for 6 cents, but by 1956, the cost had risen to 10 cents for every loaf.

Their shop several hours in the 1930s and 1940s had them open up for enterprise from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays, they had been open up until 8 p.m. They ended up open till 11 p.m. on Saturdays. These were being simply their retail several hours. You can picture how early they would need to rise and begin baking if their shop opened at 8 a.m.

In lots of of my oral historical past interviews, people spoke of their hot cross buns, which have been readily available at Easter time and have been shipped new to one’s doorway just before breakfast on Good Friday morning.

By 1933, it was distinct that they required extra room for growth, and the previous Metropolitan Railway Powerhouse on Queen Street was bought and converted into a bakery. Lots of will recall this constructing as Arrow Auto Body, but it begun its lifetime as the powerhouse for the Metropolitan Railway, a simple fact that we ended up reminded of when the setting up was converted into condos a handful of several years ago, and the massive electric power generators had been eliminated.

This would let Riddell’s more area for the storage of substances, for the equipment and a garage for their trucks. It was at this location the place the bread and rolls were created, with the cakes and pastries nevertheless remaining made at the Primary Road place.

Riddell’s was a large employer at that time. Together with the family members, they utilized 10 entire-time and 4 portion-time staff. In 1939, Leslie remaining the organization to turn out to be a farmer around Belhaven.

In April 1954, the Principal Road retailer was bought to Russel Broadbent, even though the Queen Avenue operation was to go on right up until October 1956, when it to was bought to Brown’s Bread from Toronto. David Riddell passed in September 1956.

Notice that wonderful area businesses from our past are nonetheless straightforward to establish. If folks are even now conversing about them, if their name will come up in my oral heritage interviews and the interviewees nevertheless glow at the memory of the organization, then it was a business enterprise even now embedded in our collective regional historical past. Imagine how quite a few folks smile when recalling Campbell’s Textbooks and China following all these years.

Sources: Newmarket – The Heart of York Location by Robert Terence Carter Accounts of M. Riddell and Audrey (Geer) Hilliard which appeared in the November 1982 difficulty of the Newmarket Historical Modern society Publication

Newmarket resident Richard MacLeod, the Background Hound, has been a local historian for additional than 40 years. He writes a weekly function about our town’s history in partnership with NewmarketToday, conducts heritage lectures and going for walks tours of area interest, and qualified prospects area oral historical past interviews.