Daiter’s Fresh Market, uptown’s go-to Jewish grocer, is closing up shop this spring
After decades in the blintz business, Daiter’s Fresh Market, the much-loved deli on Bathurst, will close its doors for good on April 2. “My kids and my brother’s kids aren’t interested in the industry, so it was just a matter of deciding whether to do it today, or in five years, or in ten years,” says co-owner Stephen Daiter, whose grandfather Harry Daiter opened the first Daiter’s—a dairy in Kensington Market—in 1937. At its peak, eight family-owned stores kept cravings for traditional Jewish fare like schmaltz herring and gefilte fish in check. The uptown location, which opened in 1964 and is now run by Stephen and his brother Joel, was the last of the chain. “It’s been bittersweet for us,” says Stephen Daiter. “We have tears in our eyes and our customers have tears in their eyes, and I’m not exaggerating about that.” Daiter says the family-owned building has been leased to a “non-food business,” so neighbours won’t be graced with a replacement any time soon. If all goes according to the brothers’ plan, though, customers can at least look forward to purchasing some of Daiter’s products, like their soups, in other stores.