News of Kate Reid’s croissants has reached as far as Norway. In one of the country’s biggest newspapers, a feature story included this quote from New York Times writer and “croissant patron”, Oliver Strand.
“Have you ever seen Kate roll croissants? It’s like watching a hummingbird’s wings beat. All are completely identical, wonderful. She would have never sold one croissant that was not perfect. It is exactly [this] kind of precision and attention to detail that makes her the world’s best.”
This is a just a glimpse of the glowing praise that has emerged for Kate and her pastry business, Lune Croissanterie, since she opened her tiny hole-in-the-wall shop in Elwood in 2012.
And next week, Kate will eclipse that first shop (which closed in September) with something Melbourne – and the customers who faithfully queued from 6am each week – have been waiting for.
With her brother Cam and prolific cafe operator Nathan Toleman (behind The Kettle Black, Top Paddock, and many more successful ventures), Kate is unveiling Lune Croissanterie 2.0 in an expansive converted warehouse space in the backstreets Fitzroy.
“I feel like a lot of people will expect that we’ve gone from Lune Elwood to a slightly upscaled shop,” Kate says. “I think they’ll walk in here and realise we’ve actually done the Neil Armstrong first step on the moon. It’s not just a step, it’s a quantum leap.”
The astronomic theme is cleverly evident throughout. The long, splayed LED lights on the ceiling are inspired by Star Wars: when the Millennium Falcon goes into hyperdrive and the stars blur into lines. And at the centre of the space is the Lune Lab – a glass cube that looks like a futuristic space station. This is where Kate and Cam will prepare the pastry, climate-controlled at a perfect 18 degrees. When you look through the centre of the glass, the LED lights reflect onto the dark surfaces into infinity.
Getting down to the pastries – there are two offerings you need to know about.
The first is the main service counter. When you order a pastry, you’re not getting one off the racks – it’s delivered to you within seconds from the oven. You can take it away (in a cleverly ventilated package), or grab one of the few bench spots and enjoy it with a Small Batch coffee. Kate estimates that she and her team will be able to produce around 700 pastries a day, including the much-loved traditional pastries, cruffins (a Lune original) and twice-baked croissants, as well as some creative new additions.
The second offering is a bit more high-end. Book and pre-pay online, and you can take one of nine stools at the Lune Lab. With one sitting a day, guests will enjoy three courses of pastry with bottomless coffee – including two experimental pastries that aren’t on the regular menu.
The three pastries will be baked specifically at the half-hour points during the sitting. Kate says, “I think they’ll be the freshest pastries anyone’s ever had.”
While sitting at the bar, you can watch Kate and Cam work in the cube and they’ll come out for a chinwag, too.
While Lune’s vast new space and upgraded equipment is a big change – so is the new north-side location. How do Lune’s loyal patrons feel about the move and upscale?
“A lot of our most-regular customers weren’t from Elwood, most of them drove,” Kate says. “I hope they’ll come here. I miss them, I’m really excited to see them all.”
Lune Croissanterie opens at 119 Rose Street, Fitzroy on Saturday October 31, and will trade Saturday and Sunday from 8am until sold out.