Getting St-Viateur bagels from Montreal to San Francisco

[Note to moderators: Feel free to move or cross-post this to a more general category. I think an “e-Food” category for on-line food purchases and food-related service might be useful]

Those sneaky target marketers stuck a picture of some luscious-looking Montreal bagels in front of my nose. It was an ad for, offering me four dozen beauties from St-Viateur for $69 including shipping. The “including shipping” was the gotcha here; St-Viateur’s website cites a $89 cost for shipping alone for 4 doz. bagels from Montreal to San Francisco. I hadn’t had a St-Viateur (or any other Montreal bagel) in seven years, and resistance was futile.

St-Viateur offers plain, sesame, poppy seed or “everything” bagels (“Everything” for St-V means sesame and poppy; they consider any other added ingredient to be non-traditional.) I went for the sesame bagels, which my wife likes because they remind her of “da bing.”

I ordered my bagels on Saturday. They were shipped late Tuesday afternoon and arrived at my home mid-afternoon on Thursday. They were actually shipped from Champlain NY, just across the border, some 40 miles south of Montreal, enabling a considerable saving on International shipping costs. They were packed in a St-Viateur branded box, and I assume they were made the same day they were shipped.

By the time my bagels arrived the flavor was still good, but they were already starting to get a bit crumbly when sliced, as Montreal bagels will. They were not fresh enough to eat untoasted, as I prefer, but perfectly fine toasted. Those that I didn’t eat or give away were immediately sliced and put in the freezer.

Goldbely sells a lot of other East Coast gourmet items of high nostalgia value (from Russ & Daughters, Ess-a-Bagel, Primante Bros. etc) as well as the Montreal bagels from St-Viateur. If you are tempted to to buy St-Viateur bagels or other goodies, you can use promo code CORNBREAD1247 at checkout and get $25 off your first order. [Disclaimer: it will also earn a $25 credit for me.] Applying the credit to 4 doz. bagels will bring the cost down to 92¢ per bagel, compared to 79¢ per bagel from Safeway’s bulk bagel bin. Such a deal!

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Until I read down about the price, I wasn’t that interested.

My current bagel source is House of Bagels in Palo Alto near the freeway, although I prefer Izzy’s, Izzy’s EPA outpost is closed on Sunday which is the righteous bagel-buying day.

On an unrelated note, I had an everything-bagel truffle ( chocolate ) from Intrigue . It was spooky-good.

Intrigue doesn’t have much distribution, because they don’t put couverture on their truffles, which means they must be refrigerated and have a limited shelf life, which causes problems for most retailers, who apparently need a 30-day minimum unrefrigerated shelf life. Thus, I suggest stopping by the store when you are in seattle. They also specialize in custom flavors for weddings and corporate events.

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Have you had a chance to try Beauty Bagels in Oakland? I’d rank them as best in the Bay, and not just because they’re Montreal style. I demoted their quality after I took a trip to Montreal, but I feel they’ve gotten better over time.

I’d be glad to bring back a dozen St-V bagels on my next trip for anyone interested. I usually return to Montreal at least a couple of times each year to visit family and friends and I usually stuff 1-2 dozen bagels in my luggage for myself. I’ll give this thread a bump on my next trip…

On a side note, I attempted to smuggle $180 worth of Barney Greengrass whitefish salad and chopped liver through TSA last spring and those finks confiscated every last thing! They probably threw a big seder in some backroom… :angry:

Can you buy them at the airport? It was great when you could buy them by the dozen at Starbucks right in the departure lounges. Then Beaubien low-balled them and got the contract to supply bagels to airport concessions.

I was once busted for a hunk of Jinhua ham in my luggage at SFO coming back from Shanghai.

I think I remember seeing an outlet at the airport on my last trip, although I’m not sure if they’re set up to sell in bulk by bags. It’s so easy to swing by the Mile End storefront that I never really have an excuse not to pick them up… My folks don’t like to go out of their way though and usually cheat with Real Bagel (still way better than anything in the Bay Area!) but I could always tell right away.

So the final cost for you was $69 including shipping for 4 dozen bagels? I’m just trying to clarify?

Yep, they got me cold. If I’d had someone’s promo code it would have been $44. Hopefully someone will use mine, and I’ll get the break on my next order.

No, I was just curious because directly from the website within Canada is still more than $69!

They may be using next day shipping instead of two-day. With Goldbely, it’s $30 more for overnight ship;ping.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr