Mount Royal Bagel Factory
By Diane Duflot

A Neighbourhood Bagel Shop in North Van

Tucked away in a residential area in North Vancouver, on Queensbury Avenue, there’s a charming little commercial strip that locals know well. Once upon a time, before people had cars, neighbourhood shopping nooks like these were commonplace, and as more people come to embrace local living, they are making a comeback. One of the shops in this niche neighbourhood, Mount Royal Bagel Factory, has been on a steady incline since owner Krista Rawlins first opened the doors in 2004.

The secret to Mount Royal Bagel Factory’s success is their true, hand-made, Montreal-style bagels, which are infinitely more delicious than the pre-packaged options available at many grocery stores. Montreal bagels are sweet and dense, they contain malt and egg, and they are boiled in honey-sweetened water before being baked in a wood-fired oven.

We want our customers to enjoy their experience, to come back, and to tell their friends about us. As a result, we’ve found that people are really loyal. Even if they move away from the neighbourhood, they come back to us. - Krista Rawlings, owner of Mount Royal Bagel Factory
Mount Royal Bagel Factory owner Krista Rawlings and her husband Larry opened their North Van bakeshop in 2004.
Mount Royal Bagel Factory owner Krista Rawlings and her husband Larry opened their North Van bakeshop in 2004.

The Real Deal

Krista doesn’t see any reason to mess with perfection, so she keeps her bagel flavours simple and classic. “Why make it complicated?” she says, “We’ve got plain, poppy seed, sesame seed, multigrain, rosemary rock salt, cinnamon, and several flavours in whole wheat, as well.”

Adding to its authenticity, Mount Royal Bagel Factory is also BC Kosher certified. In order to maintain its Kosher certification, the bakery and its staff have to adhere to a high standard of cleanliness, something which should be of comfort to customers, whether they observe a Kosher diet or not.

To keep her business growing, Krista has added products to the store’s repertoire over the years. She sells locally made Island Farm cream cheese, and grinds fresh almond butter in house – both of which are the perfect accompaniment to a fresh bagel. Krista also makes and sells Edelweiss Organic Granola, which is prepared in small batches using whole nuts, organic vanilla, pure honey and other wholesome, high-quality ingredients. Most recently, Mount Royal Bagel Factory has added pretzels to the menu, too.

Locally made Island Farm cream cheese is an excellent bagel accompaniment.
Locally made Island Farm cream cheese is an excellent bagel accompaniment.
Dense and chewy Montreal-style bagels are available in a range of sweet and savoury flavours.
Dense and chewy Montreal-style bagels are available in a range of sweet and savoury flavours.

Loyal customers

All of Krista’s products have a loyal following, in part because of the way that she and her staff treat their customers. "We want our customers to enjoy their experience, to come back, and to tell their friends about us," Krista notes. "As a result, we’ve found that people are really loyal. Even if they move away from the neighbourhood, they come back to us.”

Since Krista lives in North Van and many of Mount Royal Bagel Factory’s customers are from the area, she feels it’s important to support that community in various ways: whether that means providing auction prizes for fundraisers, sporting sponsorships, donating to the local hospital, or simply offering loyalty cards that give customers their 10th dozen bagels on the house.

At the end of the day, customer satisfaction is Krista's top priority at Mount Royal Bagel Factory. "We want to make sure that our customers are happy, and that we give them excellent service and high-quality products," she says with a smile.

Authentic Montreal-style bagels are available in grab-and-go bags to take home.
Authentic Montreal-style bagels are available in grab-and-go bags to take home.
Mount Royal Bagel Factory is located in Queensbury in North Vancouver.
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