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'Food is always better when it’s homemade': Hollinger House owner

The bakery and deli offers fresh food, treats, lunches and more

Right after walking through the door, you realize this could be the best-smelling workplace in Timmins. You immediately have memories of visiting grandma or baking cookies with mom.

That’s because there are always delicious treats being made daily at the Hollinger House Bakery and Deli.

Tucked away in the Hollinger Court plaza on Waterloo Road, the business offers a wide variety of baked goods, fresh deli meat and cheese, and even prepared meals and food.

Carole Rocheleau is the owner. She made a major career change to become her own boss more than two decades ago.

‘I’m from Timmins, born and raised, and had 22 years accounting background for Caterpillar,” she said. “I bought (Hollinger House) in 2014.”

The goal is to provide customers with delicious, freshly made food.

“Everything (on the bakery side) is made here,” Rocheleau said. “We have three or four different suppliers from down south for our meat and cheese.”

While people come in for loaves of homemade bread, buns, cookies, tarts and other sweet treats, the deli makes sure freshly made sandwiches are always on the menu. Customers can pick from fresh bread or buns, the deli meats and cheeses, to get a custom-built sandwich. There are also a variety of pre-made sandwiches, which are made fresh daily.

“Our own bread and buns are a popular choice for lunches,” she said.  “They get their sandwiches made fresh.”

But Hollinger House is far from a one-trick pony. There are a variety of other freshly made specials every day. From soup to lasagne, the most difficult part of lunch is deciding what to order.

“We have specials up every day online,” she said. “Our most popular one is Wednesdays for meatball sub day and pulled pork on Thursday. We pull every Thursday morning. It’s fresh and it’s good.”

The fridges and freezers at the front of the store also offer a range of items to feed hungry families. Baked beans, sausage, cabbage rolls, shepherd's pie, tourtiere and more are local favourites.

“We have frozen meals prepared,” Rocheleau said. “We bring in Bussiere sausages. We offer Keto products as well in our frozen section. We have diabetic products. We try to please every palette.”

Hollinger House has a good internet presence, with a website that can take catering orders for lunches, trays and more, plus an active Facebook page.

“Like any other business, exposure is good, word of mouth is good,” she said.

The pandemic has slowed business, but they keep baking up their specialties. A limited number of customers are permitted in the store at a time and everyone must mask up. Store hours have been reduced as well.

“Business has been slower for sure, people are a little bit scared,” Rocheleau explained. “We maintain a flow of business. We follow all the guidelines from the ministry, and have all the signage up. We wear our masks. During COVID, there has been no catering. But normally we do it daily. People can still order online. We do deliver, offer curbside pickup or in-store pickup.”

Hollinger House staff take pride in making and selling fresh food.

“There are no preservatives in our products and they are made daily,” she said. “We find that’s a good advantage. Food is always better when it’s homemade.”

Rocheleau is glad she made the big career change. She enjoys seeing customer expressions, even when they are wearing anti-COVID masks.

“Everybody that comes to the bakery is usually smiling, and leaves smiling.”

Hollinger House Bakery and Deli is located in Timmins at 100 Waterloo Rd. in Hollinger Court. It is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact Hollinger House by phone at 705-267-6704 or visit its website.