How We Started

Gosh! What a time to start a business!!

It was early May 2020 and I was finding that ‘early retirement’ wasn’t suiting me. Everybody was in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic that was sweeping the world and to be honest I was getting pretty bored at home – there are only so many cat videos you can watch!! So, I decided to do what I knew best and bake some bread. 

First of all, I was just making it for our own two ravenous teenagers – they wolfed it down and so did few of their mates – so I started making more (you know how sourdough is – you’ve got to make it most days). My wife then suggested that perhaps a few of our friends and lovely neighbours might like a loaf or two, so I started making bread for a wider circle and a few of them said ‘mate, you should sell this’.  

So, I thought about it for a bit and decided that if I did, that I’d like to keep it local. So, I put a notice up on the ‘Nextdoor’ app and it took off from there. We still deliver to some of those original customers – thank you to Alex, Louisa, Adeline and Robert for giving us that initial and ongoing support... It just took off from there!!

I was delighted and so grateful for the feedback that many of my neighbours (now clients) put up on that app. People were taking photos of my bread, telling their friends and neighbours about it and things just snowballed. 

Clearly, I could not make the amount of bread needed from our little kitchen for long, so in August, I found the shop at 100 Pacific Highway, near the Cinema. It was only a few minutes from home, and it was just what we needed. We set up the bakery (thank you to Richard and Ollie for the help setting up) and off we went.

Initially, because everyone was in lockdown the only way we could sell our bread was to deliver it to people’s homes, so that’s what we did (and still do). The business continued to grow and to get bread to the ever-increasing customers during lockdown, my family, their friends and even some of our neighbours and customers were called in to help with deliveries.

We opened the shop doors on the last weekend of April 2021 – only on Saturdays. We could only have one customer in the shop at a time (due to COVID rules – mind you it’s a pretty small shop anyway, so we can still only have a small number of people in the shop at any one time), but we were amazed and delighted when people started queuing outside the shop. It became very social and an opportunity for people to see friends and neighbours in the line-up, so no one minded waiting and we also loved meeting more of our neighbours (customers), many of whom have become friends. It is one of our greatest joys. The shop is now open five days a week!!

I have to admit, I did have a clear advantage in setting up Slowbreads. I am an Artisan Baker certified by the City and Guilds in London. I have worked with some of the best– in 5-star hotels, artisan bakeries etc, cooked for some pretty famous people and have won many awards – most recently in 2023, I won a silver and bronze at the Sydney Fine Food awards and previously in 2018, I also won two silvers and a bronze for my sourdoughs. I am a firm believer in slow food – you know, real food that is made with love, not the stuff that is made in minutes.  I am also really proud to say that our product is local – made on site, locally sourced and locally delivered and everyone that works at Slowbreads lives locally. I use seasonal ingredients (as much as possible) and I can’t wait for you to try them – beautifully crafted, traditionally made and truly delicious.

Come in and say hello, or if you can’t make it to ours, we will come to yours!! We’d love to meet you!