Two weeks ago, in the North Melbourne space that was formerly the barbershop All the Kings Men, two French bakers opened Bread Club. And it’s one club you’ll want to talk about.
Owners Tim Beylie and Brice Antier are friends who’ve worked at some of Melbourne’s best bakeries – Beylie at Woodfrog and Vue de Monde, Antier at Baker D Chirico – and they’re no strangers to early starts. But opening their own spot was a new challenge.
“Probably the first day at Bread Club, I was running on three hours of sleep,” says Antier. “But everyone was proud and said they loved our products, which had me tearing up.”
“Nothing will beat opening our own doors. It’s been a long time coming,” Beylie adds.
Beylie is a second-generation baker who moved to Australia in 2009 to take on the head baker role at Vue, and his passion for bread is rivalled only by his love for DJing under the moniker DJ Baguette. Antier’s pastry education began at home at the age of 14 under the guidance of his mother and grandmother. He moved here in 2011, at 18, where he too landed a job at Vue – and mentorship from Beylie. The two already feel at home in North Melbourne.
“There are already so many familiar faces, we have such a small-town community vibe here – even though we’re basically in the city,” Beylie says.
The pair’s new shop has large double doors that open onto a space with white rendered brick walls, and room for 20 at mint-green banquettes and bench seating looking out onto Queensberry Street. A La Marzocco coffee machine (also mint green) sits atop an impressive green quartzite benchtop, alongside displays of breads and pastries.
There are white, olive and seeded sourdoughs; baguettes; fruit loaves; the usual sweet pastries (croissants, pain au chocolat, cookies and brownies); plus a few more creative specialties, including the Banana Split (a flaky croissant pastry topped with sliced banana, cream, dark-chocolate shavings and toffee) and the Morning Bun (croissant dough rolled in spiced sugar, piped full of vanilla cream and topped with caramelised walnuts). Fruit danishes come filled with strawberry and mint or baked plums, and there are doughnuts filled with different types of custards (toffee, coffee or blood orange).
Simple Sandwiches are $10 baguettes that come with three ingredients – right now that’s mortadella, fontinella cheese and rocket. There’s another sandwich with poached chicken, potato, mayo, olives and pickles; a savoury danish with green pesto, cherry tomatoes and feta; and kolokythopita pie, inspired by the traditional Greek zucchini-and-feta filo pastry, which is served with the addition of emmental, mint and egg.
Espresso is from Coburg micro-roastery Inglewood Coffee, and there’s iced batch-brew and filter coffee, too.
In March, the team plans to kick off Sunday sessions with cocktails, cheesy pastries and sets from DJ Baguette.
“There are some fun collaborations in the works with food suppliers and friends, [we’re] developing the product range and seeing where it goes,” Beylie says. “It’s early days, but we will be around for a while.”
558 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
Mon to Fri 7am–3pm