About Us

About Us and Our History

Find more about the family who runs this restaurant


Steveston Bakery and Café was established in 1989 in the heart of Steveston Village by Hemant and Bimla Rao. They were both born in Fiji where they met and became high school sweethearts. They are both loved and respected by the Steveston Village locals for their vast community involvement and for the traditional breads, homemade soups, and desserts they create in their bakery. Their daughter and son were raised helping out in the bakery from an early age as were the children of many of the long term employees.


Steveston Bakery and Café has sold a loaf of sourdough bread for 99¢ every Saturday since it opened in 1989. That is a tradition that is still alive and well today, so if you want to stop by Saturday, we welcome you.

History of Sourdough

"Sour-style bread can be traced all the way to ancient Egypt, but it wasn't until tens of thousands of prospectors descended on California during the 1840s Gold Rush that sourdough started its slow rise to the style familiar today. Bakers found the loaves they were making out in the American West had a pleasant tangy taste. But why?

It turned out that San Fran's famously foggy climate was, and is, the perfect environment for the wild yeast cells and naturally occurring bacteria that give sourdough its characteristic flavour. As the city grew rapidly on gold wealth, claims were soon made that no one could produce a true sourdough loaf outside of a 50-mile radius of the centre. It's since been disproven, although the all-important lactic acid bacteria still goes by the scientific name Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis.

Science aside, the gold miners loved the bread, not least because it kept well, and a good San Francisco sourdough loaf remains a thing of wonder. It's essentially everything bog-standard supermarket bread isn't. It has texture, weight and a rough, robust crust. It tears slowly and beautifully. Add a bit of salted butter and it becomes a challenge to stop devouring the stuff."

Full article by BY BEN LERWILL, PUBLISHED 8 APR 2019, 23:50 BST

Our Leader

Hemant Rao


Hemant is a classically trained Master Baker.

Hemant started his career as a bakery apprentice at the Original Bread Garden on 1st Avenue in Kitsilano.


He then went on to learn about sourdough unleavened bread in the heart of San Francisco.
He also worked in the Napa Valley before returning to Vancouver.

Upon returning to Vancouver, he researched different areas of the city. He visited Steveston and a friend of his, Ray Martynuik encouraged him to open his bakery in Steveston Village. The rest is history as he has been baking in Steveston village since 1989.

Steveston Bakery and Café

12231 No 1 Rd, Richmond, BC V7E 1T6,

(604) 271-3656