Liberté cream cheese discontinuation leaves large bagel-sized gap in Montreal meals world
One of Montreal’s iconic food products will disappear from shelves at delis, bagel shops, and grocery stores: Liberté cream cheese.
“It is with great sadness that we must confirm that we will no longer be able to continue making our Liberté cream cheese, which meets the expectations of our consumers,” reads a statement on Liberté’s website.
The Koporovsky Jewish immigrant family from Russia founded Liberte in 1936 in the heart of Montreal’s Plateau neighborhood, originally selling kosher cream cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream.
The company was bought by Yoplait in 2010 and General Mills in 2021. General Mills also owns the brand Bold Cultr, which makes a non-animal cream cheese alternative.
Montreal Jewish food historian Kat Romanow broke the news in “An Elegy for Liberté Cream Cheese: A Montreal Bagel Schmear Like No Other” on the Nosher.
“I was in shock,” she wrote. “This cream cheese has been a mainstay on the tables of Jewish Montrealers for years. I couldn’t imagine it not being part of the bagel culture of the city.”
Wandering Chew co-founder Kat Romanow said discontinuing Liberté cream cheese is a shame as it, paired with a bagel, is a truly Montreal experience. SOURCE: Wandering Chew
She was not the only one who felt that way.
“It was truly a shock to us when we received the email on April 27th informing us that as of the 18th of July our beloved Liberté would no longer be produced,” said Fairmount Bagel Food Safety Director Elizabeth Malcolm.
The popular bagel shop said it ordered more stock to keep the product available for as long as possible, but supplies didn’t last.
“Many people, when they found out the news, started purchasing multiple containers at a time,” she said.
Malcolm said it was clear what brand Fairmount customers preferred to pair with their bagels.
“We know our customers, as well as our families, are upset; it was the better of the cream cheeses,” she said. “From the texture to the taste, it was a superior product. Not to mention the pride in having a local product. It will truly be missed.”
Liberte, and General Mills, said there is not enough demand for it.
However, General Mills did relaunch the previously-discontinued Dunkaroos in 2020.