At Frenchies Bakery rows of fresh sourdough loaves line the shelves behind the counter, and exquisite French pastries and viennoiseries sit prettily under a glass counter.
The bakery in Rosebery food precinct The Cannery opened in winter, but the pastries first garnered fans during the 2021 lockdown, when sister venue Frenchies Bistro and Brewery was forced to close.
“During the first lockdown we just focused on the brewery,” Frenchies chef and co-owner Thomas Cauquil – who co-owns Frenchies with head brewer Vincent De Soyres – tells Broadsheet. “But when the second lockdown came, we thought we’d do something different.”
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With on-premise offerings on hold, the bistro pastry chef, Celine Vandeville, started baking. “[The bread and pastries] gave people a good reason to leave their house in the morning,” Cauquil says. “Since everything has reopened, people regularly asked if we were going to bring the pastries back.”
The offering is authentically French, leaning on Vandeville’s (now a partner in the business) training in France’s north. There are flaky, golden croissants; exquisite tarts piled with glossy fruit; and eclairs topped with chocolate ganache.
It’s not all sweet. The bistro makes a range of pies; there’s leek and comté quiche; bread rolls; and plenty of sourdough, from baguettes to rye, Khorasan sourdough and fruit and nut loaves. The only tip-off you’re not in France is the sweet tang of lemon meringue tarts, banoffee pies and a classic pavlova.
Like the bistro and brewery, the bakery’s fit-out embraces the industrial feel of the precinct. Alongside a sleek, polished service area is a long navy wall – painted with a French bulldog, Frenchie – with broad windows. These allow a view into an operation that bakes goods Cauquil believes hold their own next to French originals.
“I just came back from France and I thought the quality of the croissants, for example, was lower than I remembered. Same for bread. In Australia we’re so lucky there are a lot of people who are interested in [baked goods]. They’re popular, and it keeps the profession going. It lets bakeries like us put out high quality products.”