Neha Patil

Grodzinski Bakery

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
Grodzinski Bakery

Grodzinski Bakery is a chain of kosher bakeries in London, England, where it is popularly known as "Grodz", and in Toronto.

Contents

Early years

In 1888, (although this date is still used in all publicity material and for Centenary celebrations, research at Public Records Office in Kew has indicated that they arrived in 1890) Harris and Judith Grodzinski, bakers by trade, joined many members of the Jewish community in the Russian Empire in migrating westward from Voranava - once a shtetl near Lida, currently Belarus, establishing themselves in the East End of London. There they hired kosher ovens and set out baking bilkelekh, thereby beginning a business that would grow from a trading barrow to a full-scale bakery at 31 Fieldgate Street, over which they lived.

Harris and Judith were followed in the mid-1890s by Harris nephew, Chaim Elyah Grodzinski (later changed his name to Hyam Hyams and went into the cinema business with his sons Phil & Sid) who had married Judith's sister Jessie.

Hyam Grodzinski was a businessman par excellence. His bakery at 20 Bedford Street (renamed after World War I to Cavell Street) thrived whereas Harris and Judith were not doing so well. The two families swapped premises (including accommodation above) for a number of years until Fieldgate Street was made into a successful business.

Domestic expansion

The bakery passed through two generations, managed successively by Harry and Judith's son Abraham (Abie) Grodzinski, who inherited the bakery at 18 on his father's untimely death at age 54; by Abie's widow, Bertha Jeidel, who had immigrated from Pfungstadt, Germany, and took over the business when Abie succumbed to the Spanish Flu Pandemic; and by their eldest children, Harry and Ruby Grodzinski, who took up the reins in 1930.

Grods prospered under Harry's and Ruby's tenure, beginning with the opening of a second location at 91 Dunsmure Road, Stamford Hill, to which baking was moved. A decade later, the bakery had expanded to six locations, and even the original 31 Fieldgate Street location's demise in a 29 December 1940 German air raid could not halt expansion. By the mid-1960s Grodzinski was the largest kosher bakery in Europe, preparing both fine pastries and a range of breads, and adding to their retail business a thriving wholesale operation distributed through such British institutions as Selfridges, Marks & Spencer and Harrods.

Overseas expansion

In 1999 the first Grodzinski bakery was opened in Toronto, continuing the family baking tradition into fourth and fifth generations. When it opened, the Edgware branch in London was managed by Tova Grodzinski, great-great-granddaughter of the founders. In November, 2003, during a 75th anniversary celebration of the opening of the oldest surviving branch shop at 91 Dunsmure Road, a collection of historic photos and papers was unveiled, collected by current owner Jonathan Grodzinski.

Another Canadian location has since been opened in Thornhill, Ontario, just north of Toronto.

References

Grodzinski Bakery Wikipedia


Similar Topics
Alan Quinn
Michael L Scott
Jordan Graham
Topics