The story of Milbree Viking was started in 1991 by Liisa Ottavainen who began baking traditional Finnish style crispy rye bread in her home basement. “Milbree” was born when Liisa opened her first store within Greater Toronto Area in July 1991. Milbree continued to focus on producing fresh baked goods until 2000, at which point the opportunity was seized to relocate to mid town Toronto and expand a thriving production bakery business, by adding a delicatessen counter and smokehouse. The amalgamation of an existing location and the new bakery produced “Milbree Viking”.
The smokehouse became very well known for its smoked salmon and whitefish. Its range of high quality products, produced by Heikki Ottavainen, extended to poultry, pork and sausages. All red meats, poultry and fish came from top quality suppliers and were always fresh, never frozen; providing the exceptional results Heikki was able to produce.
This new location also made possible to expand the business further with the addition of a wholesale division of a fine line of imported foods from Finland, including candies, breads and household goods.
In November 2009 disaster struck and this unique vibrant business was destroyed by a fire. Because of a combination of the owners age and new government rulings and regulations in the food industry, Liisa and Heikki decided not to rebuild the business in the Toronto area again.
However, Liisa did not stop completely, in November 2010 Milbree Viking re-opened the bakeshop on Davis Dr in Newmarket, Ontario.
After 22 years, Milbree remains true to its mission; to provide fresh preservative-free , traditional products and never compromise the quality of its in house made products. All bakery products are made fresh on the day of business. The dough is never frozen. Even with the great growth of the business, from the first baked item in 1991 to over 100 baked or cooked items today, Liisa has never lost sight of this vision. The freshness of products remains Liisa's personal promise. She will never compromise quality nor originality to save time or speed up production.