OTTAWA -- Bright and early every morning at about 6 a.m., Yieng Gov fills his Orléans neighbourhoood with the smell of freshly baked goods from Delice Royal bakery.

But on Valentine’s Day, the final batch of bread will come out of the oven, for good. 

“It’s time. It’s time to retire,” says Gov, owner of Delice Royal bakery. “We are getting old now already ok. We are in this business already 25 years.”

Everything at Delice Royal is done from scratch; from the pastries, to the quiche, to the chocolate cake.

“I’ll miss all the customers. The customers are very nice, almost like your friends,” says Gov. 

The bakery has seen a surge of new customers in recent months, due to other shops in the area having to close. However, despite the pandemic shutting down small businesses, COVID is not responsible this time.

Amelie Lam has been working at the bakery for six years. She says the experience she’s gained here has helped her land a spot at a Montreal baking school.

“People might think that we’re closing because of COVID and less business,” says Lam. “But it’s more because its retirement for them.”

For the owners, it’s more time with family that has become the priority.

“It’s a lot of work and they’re new grandparents,” says Lam. “They want to spend more time with their granddaughter, when COVID will allow it.”

For those who still need to satisfy their sweet tooth, Delice Royal’s original location remains open.

Co-owner Siu Dip says, “The other location on Forest Valley, we’re going to continue to serve our customers.”

Customers here though, sad to hear the bakery is closing its doors.

Delice Royal Bakery

“I’m going to miss it obviously,” says one customer.

Another customer adds, “We live close by, we come here probably every week to get bread or some of the pastries. So it’s sad to see them go.” 

The owners say shutting down comes with mixed emotions, but they are looking forward to finally getting a chance to sleep in.

“For them I’m happy. Because it’s a well deserved rest,” says Lam.

Dip says, “I just want to say thank you to all the good customers.”