Sources: (left) the Globe, June 23, 1932, (right) the Globe, November 28, 1932.
During a scorcher of a summer like the current one, the kitchen stove may be one of the last places you want to hang out. Sure, you make delicious meals there, but the additional heat on a humid day can make even the most patient cook cranky. As most 1930s housewives lacked access to up-to-date air conditioning methods, it’s understandable that on a sweltering day, a factory-produced pie with a homey name might appeal more than a homemade dessert made by a real-life Mrs. Moody.
And once the crust, filled with the finest seasonal fruit, was delivered to an eagerly awaiting homestead, didn’t the pie merit protection from dust, fruit flies, and guests sneaking an extra slice? Barker’s Bread offered a decorative-yet-functional “cake safe” to provide all the security any dessert required.
From its beginnings around 1900, Barker’s Bread grew to be one of Toronto’s primary commercial bakers. During the early 1930s, President George Burry thanked his customers for their support, which allowed the company to expand its facilities twice as the Great Depression began:
I often wonder if the housewives of Toronto realize what a tremendous power they are when taken collectively—the enormous value their goodwill is to any baker. My company has always been alive to this fact—many of you know it. Goodwill that is lasting cannot be bought—IT HAS TO BE EARNED—year after year with no let up of effort. The continuous success of the Barker Bread business is recognition of this great truth, and is the reward that I most value.
Located at Davenport Road and Kendal Avenue, portions of the Barker’s Bread property are now occupied by the Casa Loma campus of George Brown College.
Additional material from the September 18, 1931, edition of the Toronto Star.