Solly’s Bagelry, now a Vancouver Institution, is a family business established in March 1994 in Eastside Vancouver. A Jewish Family Bakery and Deli, Solly’s offers a variety of traditional Jewish baked goods and deli items. As a young girl, founder and current owner, Leah Markovitch learned Jewish baking by observing and working with her Baba (Grandma) in her Baba’s kitchen. Many of Solly’s delicious foods stem from original recipes, handed down from previous generations in Eastern Europe, to her Baba, to Leah’s Mother , and to Leah herself. These recipes, along with many others, lovingly shared by family and friends, have been authentically recreated in Solly’s kitchens. Solly’s currently has three retail stores in Vancouver: Main & 24th, Broadway & MacDonald and Yukon & 7th.
As a company committed to Jewish baking and cuisine, Solly’s President & CEO, Leah Markovitch, says: “When I look back at all we’ve accomplished over the past 19 years, I cannot help but “kvell”- a Yiddish term meaning “feel delighted, proud and Joyful”.
From the first day Solly’s opened, the smell of fresh bagels filled the air all along Main Street which at the time was a neighborhood consisting mainly of pawn shops, antique stores and the odd greasy spoon. Main Street seemed like a strange place to set up a Jewish bakery, far removed from the traditional Jewish neighborhoods in the Oak Street corridor. But what Solly’s did for the East side, they also did for greater Vancouver and eventually Western Canada, where the name Solly’s Bagelry is synonymous with maintaining the authentic Jewish deli and bakery experience that has now been mostly corporatized and sanitized in Eastern Canada and the United states.
“We took traditional Jewish foods that had been kept quietly cloistered within a few small Jewish bakeries and delis, and moved them into the mainstream of Vancouver life, putting Jewish food on the map” says Leah Markovitch. “We are proudly Jewish and proclaim it throughout our stores. By doing so we have made Jewish holidays and festivals like the Jewish New Year, Chanukah, Purim, Passover as well as the weekly Jewish Sabbath, part of the vernacular, embraced by the many cultures that constitute Greater Vancouver. Always remaining committed to Jewish authenticity, taste and excellence, we’ve taken artistic and creative license by introducing such delectable goodies such as “samosa” knishes, and “chocolate matzah” to name a few. With stores that have a sense of bohemian style, Jewish music and enjoyment, Solly’s Bagelry has always been fun hip and cool.
In addition to over a dozen varieties of hand-rolled boiled bagels, Solly’s features world famous cinnamon buns, chocolate Babka, Rugoleh, strudel, mandelbroit, knishes, blintzes, challah, meringues, macaroons and so much more. Solly’s mouth-watering deli meals include pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, lox and cream cheese, and delicious soups including home made chicken soup with matzo balls. One of the popular breakfast items is Solly’s Eggel™ creation, which is a fresh baked toasted bagel topped with an egg, melted edam or cheddar and various delicious toppings. Not only does Solly’s sell it’s delicious food out of its retail stores, but it’s wholesale and catering divisions located in behind their west 7th retail shop, manufacture food for special events, wholesale, groceries, restaurants and coffee bars.