Bubby Rose's Bakery and Cafe began in 2002 and has grown to have four locations, including a newly opened shop in the downtown core! With delicious sandwiches, fabulous baked goods, and a wide selection of vegan and gluten-free items, there is something for everyone! With the pandemic still a part of our lives, small businesses, such as Bubby Rose's, need our help to stay open and survive the financial difficulties of our present circumstances.

Bubby Rose’s Bakery

 

Bubby Rose’s has opened a new location at the corner of Johnson Street and Government Street! When he took over the business in 2014 with Darioush and Dorothy, Andrew felt that this was a dream come true. Since then, the cafe and bakery have grown to include four locations around Victoria. They believe in the joy of cooking, in the use of fresh and ethically sourced ingredients to make delicious food from scratch, and that happy chatter and tasty comfort food can be a great escape from a grumpy day!

 

Andrew with his lovely staff. Photo by Ariel Glidden

 

What is your background?

“I’ve been involved in the family business of Bubby Rose’s since taking over in 2014. My love has always been for cooking but the prospect of baking excited me. I avoid stagnancy and enjoy trying new things and embracing change and nothing encompasses that quite like the hospitality & foodservice industry.”

 

Photo by Ariel Glidden

 

For someone who hasn’t been to Bubby Rose’s before, what is your business? What makes it special?

“We’re a something-for-everyone bakery & cafe. We do sandwiches, pizza, pastries, cookies, chili, quiches, bars, tarts, bread, etc. All made in-house. I don’t think there’s anybody else doing this much stuff from scratch year-round at multiple locations. At the same time, we don’t compromise on our ingredients, even facing the challenges that all foodservice operators have seen over the years. We don’t do ‘shrinkflation’ — our cookies will always be mouthwateringly big and we’ll always use the finest imported butter we can get our hands on.
It wouldn’t be fair to just focus on the food. I hire for all the locations and couldn’t be more proud of each and every person at all of our locations. We have some absolutely delightful individuals who genuinely enjoy putting a smile on people’s faces.”

 

What inspires you?

“People! My business and this industry wouldn’t exist without them. They drive what we do and what we pursue and their feedback gives us the motivation we need to thrive and excel and feel rewarded.”

 

Photo by Ariel Glidden

 

Congratulations on the new location! Why downtown?

“It was actually total chance. We have been planning a coffee roastery for some time and had already applied for a building permit and secured a location (more on that soon!)
Walking down Government Street, we noticed the shuttered windows at the old David’s Tea location and decided to take a leap of faith. The timing couldn’t have possibly been worse, between having already made time and financial commitments to a new location and being in the midst of a pandemic. The second lockdown a few days after we opened certainly didn’t help.
Downtown is a bustling place, and nothing exemplifies that more than lower Johnson St which is just chock full of interesting, diverse, and fun places to shop. At the same time, parts of downtown are fickle places, prone to the vulnerabilities of relying on tourism, which we can all see have taken a devastating hit over the past year.
I think Bubby’s fits perfectly as another locally owned and operated business in lower Johnson St and I couldn’t be more excited to be here and show what we’re all about to such a huge number of people!”

 

Photo by Ariel Glidden

 

So many small businesses have struggled because of COVID-19. What effects are you experiencing?

“Baking excels in its ability to scale up. Making twice as much of a product doesn’t take twice as much time. Having a robust wholesale operation, we’ve been hit extremely hard, with many of our wholesale customers being a fraction of what they were in addition to a few closing altogether, some permanently, others temporarily. It hits a bakery really hard.
Mixes have had to be adjusted to half-batches or less in many cases, reductions in staff (this is the toughest thing to have to do), etc. Not to mention outside of wholesale the day-to-day foot traffic is abysmal since the second lockdown.”

 

What advice do you have for other small business owners experiencing hardship?

“Take advantage of every benefit available to you and don’t be afraid of change, but if you’re a successful small business owner, you probably already know it. Small business is and always has been the first to suffer from difficulties created by larger industries or politics, so its proprietors know their voices aren’t heard and they simply have to be better, adapt, and overcome.”

 

Photo by Ariel Glidden

 

How to find Bubby Rose’s:

Bubby Rose’s can be found at 1022 Cook Street, 101-240 Cook Street in Cook Street Village, 103-225 Menzies Street in James Bay, and at the corner of Johnson and Government Streets. They can be reached by email through their website and on Instagram!

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