From self-taught home-baking experiments, to a market stall, to a thriving bricks-and-mortar business, Wild Bakery’s rise over the past six years is a heartening homegrown success story and one owner Daragh Grier can’t quite believe.
“It’s been very humbling to start off with the outlook we might one day be able to justify having half a dozen staff, to now being in a position where we have 20 to 30 people working for us,” he says about the business’s unexpectedly rapid growth.
Initially set up in a former commercial kitchen near the South Beach Hotel, the beloved South Fremantle bakery has started the year with a move further up South Terrace into new purpose-built premises inside a Heritage-listed building. Initially, the plan was to be open in early January, but renovation hiccups and council delays pushed back Wild Bakery’s reopening date to January 30.
While the original site served as a convenient incubator in the business’s early years, demand for Wild Bakery’s sourdough breads, French-influenced pastries and baked goods eventually exposed the site’s limitations: it was cramped, the layout didn’t suit the operation of a busy bakery and there was limited room for a storefront to serve customers. Something had to give.
“The new venue is a space designed just for us and not something that we inherited,” says Grier. “When you construct everything from the ground up, you can pretty much have everything the way you want it.”
In addition to freedom from the “dramatic inefficiency” that plagued the bakery’s previous hole-in-the-wall location, Grier hopes the new venue’s ample space will allow customers to slow down and enjoy their visits more. Stools at the breakfast bar and low-slung tables feature among the new site’s furnishings.
“We want people to be able to sit and enjoy the space instead of just grabbing whatever they want for a weekend treat and heading out the door,” he says.
Easier perusal of the baked goods is another benefit of the move. The previous space’s narrow front-of-house often forced customers into rushed decisions at the front of (often) lengthy queues: not the sort of stress or pressure that should go hand in hand with a weekend coffee run.
While the address might have changed, customers have access to the same range of sourdough loaves, pies, pastries, cakes and coffee that the business’s reputation was built on. The bakery’s New York-style pizza slices (available from 11am) remain as satisfying and oversized as prior to the move. The margherita, incidentally, is also the owner’s slice of choice.
346 South Terrace, South Fremantle
0468 787 581
Daily 5:30am - 3pm
This article first appeared on Broadsheet on February 13, 2019. Menu items may have changed since publication.*