Lune used to struggle to hang onto staff.
“We had no problem getting people,” co-owner Cam Reid says. “But we had a bit of trouble keeping people.
“Back when [co-owner, Lune Croissanterie founder and Cam’s sister] Kate [Reid] and I were on the tools all the time, we were doing all the most complex jobs and making all the decisions. You’d get these really motivated, highly skilled people coming to work for you, but if you’re doing all these roles, they’re going to go and find somewhere else that lets them be the best version of themselves.”
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That’s changed, though.
Visiting Lune has always been such an essential part of any food lover’s Melbourne experience, it’s taken a beat to start thinking of it as a national brand. But with the opening of Lune Burnett Lane, that’s now a fair perception: in 2022 the cult bakery has three outlets in Melbourne, two in Brisbane and one on the way in Sydney. There’s also Butler, the Lune team’s wine bar, which opened in South Brisbane in July.
To outsiders, the expansion has sometimes felt like it’s happening at a breakneck pace, but for the Reids and co-owner Nathan Toleman, it’s been relatively effortless. And that’s because they learned how to get their employees to stick around.
“Now that the company is really moving, we’re getting more and more really good people,” Reid says. “My job is to create opportunities for these people, and the only way to do that is to continue to grow. The growth isn’t something we’re forcing, it’s natural because we have the people who want to do it with us. The company kind of tells us where to go and we just take it there.”
Lune’s latest store, in Burnett Lane in Brisbane’s CBD, isn’t much more than a hole in the wall. Its 45-square-metre Ewert Leaf-designed fit-out amounts to a concrete service counter, stainless-steel walls and moody recessed lighting. Behind the counter is a clutch of Lune’s favoured CFI proofer cabinets, an oven, and some pastry racks stacked with product that’s prepped in the Lune South Brisbane production kitchen before being finished in the city.
There’s a poky espresso counter if you really want to stick around, but this is all about grab-and-go, with an abbreviated menu of classic, almond, and ham-and-gruyere croissants, a lemon curd cruffin, a pain au chocolate and a kouign-amann. For drinks, there’s Coffee Supreme espresso. Retail is some Mork chocolate powder and Coffee Supreme beans.
And that’s it. If you want the full Lune menu or its monthly specials, you’ll need to head for South Brisbane. The idea in busy, buzzy Burnett Lane is to keep the lines moving without rushing the service.
“You might wait a while in the line with Lune, but when you get to the counter, you get great service,” Reid says. “Having just six products allows us to do that and keep the queues moving, which makes sense for the city. People don’t want to fuck around, so we’ve created an environment where they can get in and get out.”
The new store lives at the Albert Street end of Burnett Lane, tucked into the laneway side of the recently refurbished 89 Adelaide Street building, helping activate the sleepier end of a laneway that in recent years has just gotten busier and busier with venues such as Death & Taxes, Alba Bar & Deli, Super Whatnot and Felix for Goodness.
“We looked at a few different spots,” Reid says. “But when we found the site, we thought, ‘Yeah, this is the one, for sure.’ We’re so excited to be part of this lane.”
Lune Croissanterie Burnett Lane
Shop 10, 79 Adelaide Street (enter via Burnett Lane)
Mon to Fri 7.30am–3pm
Sat & Sun 8am–3pm