The Herring Choker Deli, Cafe & Bakery is a well established eatery and shop on Cape Breton Island. Known for its great food and friendly atmosphere, the waterfront cafe is a popular stop for locals and visitors to the island.
The Herring Choker Story
The Herring Choker is located on the Trans-Canada Highway near Baddeck, Nova Scotia, at a location that has been a place for people to come and get food since the 1930′s. Back in those days, the warehouse behind the cafe was where bulk supplies such as flour, sugar and feed was stored for local farmers to access. The supplies were shipped in from Sydney to the wharf on the Bras d’Or Lake across the road from the Herring Choker, in Indian Bay.
In the 1950′s The Herring Choker was run as a general store by Donald Smith who added the front shop to the warehouse building.
The store took quite a change in direction in the 1970s when it was purchased by two couples from the United States. They opened a store called Crowdis Conservers where wood stoves and composting toilets were sold! They also added a bakery called Indian Bay Milling and the Herring Choker Deli. The deli was stocked with unique items for Cape Breton at that time, such as imported, vegetarian and health foods.
The business was purchased by the MacRae’s in 1994 who kept the name the Herring Choker. At that time, there were no bakeries in the area and the Herring Choker was shipping bread to Sydney, Port Hawkesbury, Antigonish and Truro. Over time the business shifted its focus to the cafe and eatery, while still offering health foods and baked goods.
Today the Herring Choker is run by Linda MacRae with the help of her three daughters, Cheryl, Heather and Mel and her wonderful staff. Together they have created a bright, welcoming, cheerful cafe that serves great homemade fresh food and organic coffee. While you can still get tasty treats from the bakery and deli, healthy snacks, and bulk spices like times gone by, you’ll have to go else where to get your wood stove!