Freedom is not a brand of yoghurt, claimed the great Pierre Falardeau. Well, it’s also no longer a cream cheese brand, much to the detriment of bagel lovers.
The Liberté company stopped production of its spreadable cheese, which began in Quebec in 1932, three weeks ago.
For a year now, Liberté has been owned by American giant General Mills, which didn’t respond to our interview requests on Thursday.
“This product has been discontinued as Liberté is no longer able to continue supplying the high quality product,” writes the multinational on its website.
Instead, the Journal learned between branches that the Ontario factory that made the famous spreadable cheese had just closed.
“We just lost our traditional classic,” says Saul Restrepo, manager of Montreal’s legendary St-Viateur Bagel.
The institute, which has existed since 1957, was already selling Liberté cream cheese when he started working there in 1981.
“Every time I called, I was talking to Quebecers,” he recalls.
Le Journal spent just under an hour in the -St-Viateur store on Thursday.
Through conversations with the ten or so employees present, we find that Liberté cheese holds a special place among bagel lovers.
“It will make a hole in our fridge, it was a good product. And a good product sells well,” explains the store manager.
For example, this one St-Viateur Bagel store sold 50 dozen jars a week.
“Customers are still asking about it. This morning someone left cursing because we don’t have any more,” he laughs.
Just in the hour we were there, several customers were looking for the product.
“Too bad it’s gone, it was by far the best, way better than Philadelphia,” Céline, a customer in her 60s who picks up her bagels and cheese here, took the time to say “it’s been too long for me.” accept”.
To replace Liberté cream cheese’s prominent place in his fridges, Saul Restrepo turned to a Norwegian Arla-branded product.
“He’s also very good, but he comes from very far,” he chimes in.
Liberty Dairy Products was founded in 1936 right next to St-Viateur Bagel.
According to legend, the family behind the company gave the name Liberty in honor of the hope that seeing the Statue of Liberty sparked in the continent.
The company changed hands in 1971 and was renamed Liberty. It was then acquired by Yoplait in 2010, which in turn was acquired by General Mills in 2011.