They lead the way in sustainability technology yet still make each loaf by hand.
Chefs David McGuiness and Paul Allam opened Bourke Street Bakery thirteen years ago on a magical little corner in Surry Hills, the place that started what has now become an iconic name in Sydney’s food scene, eleven bakeries strong.
“The original vision for us was to open a community bakery and sell the best possible product,” says David. “It’s always been about the food and keeping good produce going out to the customers. It’s what we love to do and always have.”
From their famous sausage rolls to their sourdoughs and pastries, everything is still made by hand, the same way it was done over a decade ago.
“We have a group of bakers that cut, weigh and shape every single loaf of bread. When we first started I would stand there with a piping bag and probably make fifty sausage rolls, and now we get six or eight guys standing along a bench making massive batches of them.”
Currently Bourke Street is the only bakery in Australia to own a Closed Loop environmental waste system.
“The system reduces our compostable waste by ten times and comes out as soil after twenty four hours,” explains David, “it can hold up to 200 kilos, so up to 200 kilos of waste goes into it and comes out as twenty kilos of soil the next day.”
This brand new technology is being observed by the Environmental Protection Authority. They monitor testing of Bourke Street Bakery’s waste output in the hope that the technology can become the future of hospitality waste management.
The bakery also offers a twenty-cent discount for customers who bring reusable coffee cups, and sells them in store.
“I think it’s definitely possible to eradicate single use coffee cups, but there will have to be some changes before that happens,” says David, “people would need to carry a cup at all times, or the way that coffee is served will have to be different. This generation is pretty set in their ways, so maybe the change will come with the next generation.”