Rebecca Foley and Lutz Richter kicked off Sprout in the Food Connect kitchen in Salisbury in 2014, after the couple moved from Sydney to be closer to Foley’s parents. The following year, they made their debut at the Saturday Fresh Market in Rocklea, deep in Brisbane's southwest. And soon enough Sprout was supplying cafes and providores such as Merriweather, Sourced, Botanica and Felix for Goodness.

The growth has been slow and steady ever since. In 2018 Sprout moved its baking operations into a larger space on Commercial Road. In 2020, a wildly successful pop-up on Robertson Street in the old Jamie’s Espresso space led Melbourne based landlord Robert Zagame to offer Foley and Richter a longterm tenancy further up the hill on the corner of James and Harcourt streets. Finally, in early June 2021, Sprout opened its own permanent shopfront.

At the heart of the business is Richter’s three decades of experience as a pastry chef. He learnt the craft as a 14-year-old in his native Germany before working at The Clarence Hotel in Dublin, owned by Bono and The Edge from U2, and later being part of the wave of international chefs who arrived in Sydney for the 2000 Olympic Games.

True to the brand’s understated form, Sprout Artisan Bakery is a relatively simple retail space in the cute black corner shop previously home to Waterlily Concept Store. The fit-out is a less-is-more combination of textured grey walls and painted black timber floors, the focus a glass cabinet filled with creations such as custard tarts, savoury bostocks (brioche toast), savoury and seasonal fruit Danishes, berry croissant baskets, and double chocolate croissant buns, all created using organic, sustainable flours from Gunnedah’s Wholegrain Milling, and Corman butter imported from Belgium.

There’s also a croissant toastie, for which Richter developed a technique to flat-laminate croissant dough – it comes with either bocconcini and prosciutto, or tomato, basil and bocconcini. The real draw, though, is arguably still Sprout’s sourdoughs, which are prepped, fermented, shaped, rested and baked in a process that takes anywhere up to 72 hours. Completing the experience is Mayde tea and espresso coffee supplied by superstar Surry Hills roaster Reuben Hills.

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Updated: December 20th, 2021

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