First Look: Mason Jar Eatery

Cordova Bay is a quiet stretch of beach halfway between Victoria and Sidney. The residents here have just a sprinkling of shops to choose from for the basic necessities; otherwise it’s into town they must go. So when deciding to open a café smack dab in the middle any small community the biggest concern, I’m sure, must be: “how can we exceed expectations and gain the public’s respect?”

This is exactly what owners Carman Wright and Genevieve Lemay are focused on with their new café, the Mason Jar Eatery. This husband and wife team are deeply loyal to their community and have been doing their best to ensure their patrons receive quality and consistency. That, and a comfortable place to hangout and enjoy home-style cooking.

Genevieve and Carman

Genevieve and Carman

Located in the Cordova Bay Plaza, the Eatery is bringing forward a real sense of comfort; from the food to the décor to the mason jar dishes and roaster-pan take away dinners.

“It’s about going back to our roots, to Grandma’s cooking where it’s all made from scratch,” Genevieve says.

In fact, that is where Carman (head chef and baker) learned his tricks of the trade, from his Grandma and Great Grandma Gene (to which most of the recipes stem from). Carman grew up on a farm in Saskatoon where canning preserves, making bread, and gardening was second nature.

More than just great food, creating a place that allows their guests feel at ease is very essential for these two. “We’re honest with the community” says Carman. “We want it to feel like home, that’s our hope. This is a good place to be comfortable, like you’re with family.”

Mason Jar Chicken Pot Pie with Salad
Mason Jar Soups

Carman is very resourceful when it comes to his food; He makes all his own chicken stock from the roast chickens for the soups and chicken potpies. The leftover pieces from the cinnamon buns are turned into the daily Pull-Apart, a sticky ooey-gooey- delicious with coffee treat. The sausage rolls are so popular that True Value Foods will soon be carrying them in their deli. The soups, like Carrot Ginger, Chicken and Squash or Garden Tomato are sealed in mason jars and available to take home and will stay fresh for up to 6 weeks. They also offer the very popular Roaster Meals: take away suppers for four; $35 for a choice of roast chicken, meatloaf or ribs, and all the fixings, including desert. Homemade bread is used for sandwiches and to accompany soups and salads. Breakfast is served all day and weekly eggs benny specials are available Saturdays and Sundays. All the to-go containers are 100% recyclable and compostable. There is a $1-2 deposit on the mason jars to encourage people returning them for reuse.

A unique aspect found in Carman’s baking is the shape; all sandwiches and scones, for example, are triangular in shape. It used to be a pizza place. So instead of investing in all new baking pans, Carman decided to give the old pizza pans a go and hence the triangle baking was born.

During my visit to the café, I witnessed a micro-community settling in around me, from the sweet older couple sharing a quiet lunch, to the young family, to Gayla—a dedicated regular. As I chatted with Carman and Genevieve they made several references to regulars (who they know by name) as if they were family. The couple sitting next to me offered up their meal for a photo-op. Gayla wanted to make sure I was aware that they have the “best breakfast hash, hands down.”

Starting on July 8th the Mason Jar Eatery will be hosting Family Pizza Nights and Games Nights through out the summer.

It’s refreshing to meet real people going back to the basics; with good food, great service, who are happy to have people in the house taking their time to enjoy a decent meal. Nobody’s trying to reinvent the wheel here, just trying to provide the reliability people want. Head on down the Mason Jar Eatery sometime and enjoy fresh baked, house made goodness.


Mason Jar Eatery

5142 Cordova Bay Road, Victoria BC


Ph: (250) 590-7059

Written By:

Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. Having lived on the west coast most of her life, except for several years in the Kootenay's where she canoed and fished and lived in a tipi, she's very much at home outdoors and in the kitchen. ...

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