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.

Just Posted

FOCUS: New arena, more ice in Surrey – but will it be enough for everyone?

With both rinks to close at North Surrey rec, the result is a net gain of one ice sheet this fall

Accused Surrey transit cop shooter’s bail hearing set for April

Daon Gordon Glasgow, 35, is accused of shooting Transit Police Constable Josh Harms, 27

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at Surrey vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

Two suspects sought after man shot in Surrey’s Hawthorne Park Sunday

Police say victim was arrested after being treated for gunshot in hospital

Surrey vigil for New Zealand mosque shooting victims set for Friday

Holland Park interfaith event aims to promote compassion and tolerance, organizer says

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Chilliwack grad says modest dress codes don’t protect girls from assault

Sardis alumni was ‘catcalled, harassed, and groped by my male classmates’ despite modest clothing

Most Read