You can find goodies from Gunn’s Bakery in many cafés and stores around the city, but the bakery is firmly rooted in Winnipeg’s North End.
Located at 213 Selkirk Avenue, the bakery is famous for its tasty knish and tempting applejacks, but it also produces dozens of varieties of bread, bagels, cookies and pastries. And it caters numerous events every year.
It’s been a family business since it started in 1937. Brothers Bernie and Arthur (Fivie) Gunn still use some of the same recipes their father Morris brought over from Poland in 1930.
Gunn’s began at a time when “Selkirk Avenue was just like Portage Avenue” according to Fivie. Like other business owners in the neighbourhood, the Gunn brothers talk about people going from one store to another, picking up baked goods, fish, meat, and more, from the many specialty shops in the area.
The family lived in the original bakery, next door to the current location, and moved just a few doors down after Fivie was born. The brothers remember being in the bakery almost every day, either helping out or picking up a snack after school. Almost 75 years later, after a number of expansions and renovations, they’re still happily running the business in the North End, with no plans to move.
The Gunn brothers have seen generations of families come through their store. Even people who have moved away from the neighbourhood still come by to purchase the bread and cookies they’ve eaten their whole lives.
“We really enjoy working with Assiniboine. We started with Astra, and enjoyed our relationship with them,” Fivie remembers. “Then when Assiniboine amalgamated with them, it was seamless for us. It’s the personalized service. With the credit union, we just feel like we’re part of the whole thing, and we mean something. You come in and somebody will say hello to you, and if you have a question, you can talk to somebody. You know, you don’t have to phone Toronto to get an answer. We’re talking to the right person, right there. We just feel really good about being a member of Assiniboine.
“I think you guys will be quite busy at your McGregor Branch, because people are hungry to have banking services around. Here’s a commitment from a credit union that’s working with the people in the area to get started, and it really shows that Assiniboine is a grassroots organization. You’re willing to put your resources out there and that’s great.”
Excerpt from print asterisk February 2012 version.