Since opening a couple of months ago, many inquisitive folk have wandered into the Northcote Bakeshop. “People come in and ask two questions – if we sell sourdough and if the bread is baked here,” says co-owner Peter Byrne, who you may recognise from his previous venture, La Paloma in Brunswick.
The answer to both these questions is a resounding yes. “People in this area are knowledgeable about food, and they want quality,” says Byrne.
Not long ago, Byrne and his business partner Arnie Salinas decided that it was time someone started baking on the High Street strip. Salinas, who spent the last six years running the Abbotsford Convent Bakery, says that “there’s great bread being baked in Fitzroy at Loafer, Dench…but there was no one this far north doing locally baked sourdough onsite.”
Well, the pair have changed that. Bread lovers can keep it simple with a white, rye or seven-grain sourdough, or get adventurous with a honey, oat and organic quinoa sourdough. For those avoiding wheat, there’s a 100 per cent wholemeal spelt loaf with chia seeds. What’s available each day varies, but Byrne says they plan to introduce a “bread schedule” soon, which is sure to please the locals.
Lunch items include croque monsieur, pizza slices with prosciutto and pulled-pork and kasoundi in brioche rolls. But it’s hard to go past one of mama’s beef empanadas, baked in-house by Salinas’s Chilean mother.
The sweets selection includes buttermilk scones, almond croissants, fruit Danishes and the crowd-pleasing ‘Hello Dolly’ slice (biscuit base, white chocolate, vanilla cream, coconut, almonds and hazelnuts). You’ll find interesting gluten-free items too, like a chickpea and chocolate slice.
The coffee is Five Senses and you can expect to find a rotating single origin on offer. For a hot chocolate with a difference, the Bakeshop boys are making it ‘Spanish style’, with 66 per cent Mexican chocolate, vanilla and cream.
Northcote Bakeshop in a nutshell? Freshly baked sourdough, single origin coffee and Nancy Wilson on the record player. Oh, and sourdough-making workshops are on the horizon.
571 High Street, Northcote
(03) 9489 5008
Tue to Fri 6am–4pm
Sat and Sun 7am–4pm