Eight years ago. That’s when the idea for Riser Bread first sprouted.

Tom Cooney was working at Cup Specialty Roasters (now closed) in Woolloongabba, and Duncan McKay was baking a few doors down at Banneton.

“[Duncan] would come up and grab a coffee, and we’d chat about coffee and what he had been [baking],” Cooney says. “We got to a point where we decided it would be nice to open a bakery-cafe together.”

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The duo spent years searching for a space before teaming up with Kieran Ryan (co-owner of The Scratch and Netherworld) to launch Riser as a bread subscription service in 2020. People with monthly subscriptions could pick up a loaf every week from their local partner spot, which included bars and bottle shops. The subscription service quickly developed a dedicated following, with many declaring Riser’s bread – in particular the olive sourdough – as some of the best in town.

At the end of 2021, the trio decided to put the subscription service on hold and focus all their attention on finding a permanent space. Finally, their eight-year-old dream has become a reality. Earlier this month, Riser Bread opened in the storied old Queenslander shop in Toowong that was previously home to Brent Farrell’s 85 Miskin Street, and before that Bruno Loubet's Bruno’s Tables.

With help from architecture firm Five Mile Radius on the overall concept, and carpenter Ellie Farrington for the fit-out, the space has been converted into a beautiful, light-filled bakery. Many new features were repurposed from recycled materials: the serving counter was made using excess concrete from a larger job; the red pipe littered throughout the space was converted from a disused fire sprinkler system; and the tables were re-cut and refurbished from the 85 Miskin Street days.

While many bakeries in town – think Agnes Bakery, Sprout and Misspelt – are pint-sized with a service counter and not much else, Riser is huge by comparison. There’s a large open kitchen, along with seating options out the front, on the ground floor, upstairs and in the garden out the back. Despite the vastness of the space, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming no matter where you take a seat.

“We want it to [fill] a bit of a gap in the Brisbane bakery market,” Cooney says. “There are some great bakeries already, but we wanted to be a bakery you could come and visit, hang out and have a relaxed time while you have your pastries and coffee.”

McKay’s bread offerings are similar to what was available through the subscription service, with popular options including the aforementioned Mount Zero olive, the lemon zest and rosemary loaf, a table loaf, and a seeded loaf aptly named the “Seedy Boi”.

The cabinet is filled with an array of creative pastries by chef Kirsty Hustwick (ex-Loafer Bread and Sprout), including an asparagus and pecorino danish; a mortadella, pickled chilli and burrata croissant; a blood orange and poached pear danish; and a triple raisin and candied citrus escargot. There are also classics like plain croissants served with a seasonal house jam (currently strawberry, orange blossom and vanilla), almond croissants and kouign-amanns.

Later in the morning the team brings out sandwiches, loaded focaccias and flaky sausage rolls, as well as a vegetarian sausage roll equivalent in the form of a broccoli, cauliflower and smoked cheddar number. Prioritising sustainability, Cooney says the team is keen to develop its lunch options with produce from Loop Growers; all the organic waste from the bakery is taken to Loop and used to enrich the soil for vegetables which will one day make their way back to Riser.

For coffee, Cooney (who also co-owns Anytime in the CBD) is running Coffee Supreme’s Five Star Day as the house blend and rotates filter coffee through a Fetco machine. There’s also chai from West End’s Yoke Kitchen, fresh orange juice and a selection of canned drinks.

Riser Bread
85 Miskin Street, Toowong
No Phone

Thu to Sat 7am–2pm
Sun 8am–2pm