Hillcrest Bakery owner David Moyer pictured in front of his store, Thursday. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Uptown construction forces Hillcrest Bakery to diversify

White Rock business owner says relocation has been ‘brutal’

To deal with challenges that came with relocating his business – coupled with an increased presence of construction sites in uptown White Rock – Hillcrest Bakery co-owner David Moyer hopes to bake his way out of debt.

“It’s been brutal,” Moyer said to Peace Arch News this week. “It’s been really, really brutal.”

The bakery moved to the Saltaire building (15231 Thrift Ave.) last fall, due to the demolition of the Hillcrest Mall to make way for two 15- and 16-storey towers at Bosa Properties Miramar Village (1425 Johnston Rd.).

The residential tower project forced several businesses to move from the Miramar property, including the Buy-Low Foods grocery store.

Hillcrest Bakery has called the corner of Thrift Avenue and Johnston Road home since 1972.

“With the mall being gone, the Hillcrest Mall… There’s just a lot fewer people around,” Moyer said. “We’re really missing those $2-, $3-impulse buys. You’re at the grocery store getting daily groceries and stop in for a sausage roll. Now, to drive to the bakery, especially with all the construction, people aren’t doing it.”

Moyer said the move may feel more painful for his business than others, as they took on a “huge, huge debt” with the relocation.

“It was already slower than what we expected. Then with all of this construction projects on either side of us, and the work along Thrift. There were days this past week where you literally could not drive in there. You couldn’t get there,” he said.

Between Roper Avenue and North Bluff Road – a 550-metre distance – there are four residential towers currently under construction on or near Johnston Road, and at least another two that are being planned.

“Our average sale is way up, way up. But the customer count is like half. One doesn’t compensate for the other,” Moyer said. “The construction has made that much more difficult.”

Moyer said he’s had to diversify his business in order to deal with the lower customer count.

He connected with both White Rock Beach Beer and 3 Dogs Brewing. Over a pint, both local breweries told Moyer that after the brewing process, they’re left with a pile of spent grains that they usually give to farmers for feed.

Spent grains are what’s left after the grain gets boiled at the beginning of the brew.

Moyer began researching what he could do with the wet grain, and started toying with recipes.

“The main focus that we started with is lets make snacks that are made with spent grains that are going to go really well with beer so they can put their label on it,” Moyer said.

Moyer started baking spent grain chips, warm pretzels and grain clusters. Pulling traditional flavour combinations from his grandmother and a twist of his own, he came up with a wide range of flavourful snacks, he said.

He offers four different grain clusters, which he’s calling a flight, perhaps to be paired with a flight of beer in a brewery setting.

The spent-grain clusters come in four flavours, coco and jalapeno; salt and pepper peanut; cranberry maple; and duqqa, coriander, cumin, hazelnut and walnut.

The grain chips are chunks of crispy grain mixed with a nuts and bolts recipe. And the pretzels, currently found at Three Dogs Brewing, are “the best soft pretzels I’ve ever had,” Moyer said.

“Not only does it have spent grain in it, but it’s cooked in beer. It’s really dark on the outside. It looks burnt, but it’s not. You crack it open and it’s bright and white on the inside.”

Moyer has also used the grain to make pizza dough and mill his own flour.

Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, based in Richmond, has also partnered with Hillcrest Bakery.

Moyer will be attending several beer festivals, including the Fort Langley Beer and Food Festival this Saturday, to pitch his product to brewers.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sources receives $70K from SurreyCares

Funds will help with warehouse space for food programs in Surrey, White Rock, Langley

Rooftop hatchlings ‘a nice addition’ to White Rock RCMP operations

Pair of seagull chicks hatched in ‘fenced playground’ on July 2

‘Justice for Mona’ rally planned for Surrey

Security camera footage shows Mona Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check at UBCO

COVID-19: ‘Contactless’ donation drive in Surrey to help women in need

Items needed for women in shelters, transition houses in the Lower Mainland

Wanted Burnaby man arrested in White Rock

34-year-old facing 15 charges, including sexual assault

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Police nab three impaired drivers in one night in Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Most Read

l -->