Audrey Allard – aka Holy Sugar – was responsible for a spike in many Melburnians’ serotonin levels during lockdown, thanks to her once-a-week dessert boxes at the height of restrictions.

But the former Lune pastry chef’s days as a cruller courier are over for now, after opening this cosy bricks-and-mortar store on High Street in Northcote, replacing now-closed Macedonian restaurant Le Lee.

The glass cabinet is filled with all of Allard’s stellar sweets that made Melbourne swoon during lockdown: both custard and lemon-meringue tarts; Basque burnt cheesecake, dulce de leche, pecan and almond tarts; and yes, her famous butterscotch crullers.

But two notable additions have joined Allard’s repertoire: focaccia sangas and chocolate eclairs. The focaccia holds together mortadella, roasted tomatoes, capsicum and Pecorino Romano. But come on the right day and you might get an extra special sandwich; Allard’s parents are dairy farmers up in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales and, yield permitting, their limited-run cheeses will occasionally steal the show in-between a slab of focaccia.

The shopfront itself also has a sense of farmhouse nostalgia, with shabby-chic tables and mismatched old-school crockery that could be straight out of your grandma’s kitchen – and in Allard’s case, that is partly true. Half of the plates were inherited from her grandma.

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Updated: August 9th, 2022

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