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Roncesvalles staple Granowska’s Bakery to serve its last paczki at the end of the month

Granowska’s has presided over the corner of Roncesvalles and Fern for 39 years (Image: Joey deVilla)

On the morning of Thursday, June 13, 1972, after three straight days of baking, Elizabeth Klodas and her mother Maria opened the doors to Granowska’s Bakery on Roncesvalles, which they named after the family bakery they left behind in Poland. “That first day, we sold out in five hours,” she told us. “We were both so happy but then started crying when we realized we had to start baking all over again! We thought we had baked enough to last the weekend!” Now, after nearly 40 years in business, the bakery will be closing its doors for good at the end of the month.

Elizabeth and, eventually, her daughter Kathy ran the shop, supplying hungry Torontonians and visitors like Pope John Paul II with some of the best paczki and rum babkas around. “My mom wants to retire now, and I want to respect her wishes,” Kathy said. “Plus, ingredient costs are constantly rising, margins are getting smaller and we’ve noticed that desserts aren’t as popular as they once were.” The building has been sold to a family that’s looking to turn the space into a flower shop. Kathy told us she believes it’s better to be remembered when you’re at the top of your game than to stick around past your due. Still, this might not be the end for the Roncesvalles staple: Kathy is contemplating eventually rekindling the Granowska’s flame online or even at another brick-and-mortar location—after she’s finished penning a Klodas family cookbook.

Granowska’s Bakery will close on December 31.