Bonfire Bread, a certified-organic bakery that garnered popularity at its first two stores, in Avalon and Narrabeen, has opened on Balmain’s Darling Street. Its focus is on traceability, sustainability and nurturing the local community.

Diving into the profession just after school, founder Andrew Austin worked as a baker for 16 years, gaining a wealth of experience along the way. After a short break from the industry, he decided to open something he was proud to call his own: a bakery combining his passion for organic eating with his baking skills.

In 2018, Andrew opened Bonfire Bread (named for his wife, Bonny) in Avalon, offering a range of classic loaves and pastries, all made using organic stone-ground flour. A year later, he launched an outpost in Narrabeen.

Never miss a Sydney moment. Make sure you're subscribed to our newsletter today.


“I wanted something sustainable,” Austin tells Broadsheet. “We get our flour from a small mill in Queensland called Kialla. They believe in traceability – all the grains can be traced back to the farmer; that was important to me.”

Consisting of several ancient grains and wheat, the dough undergoes a long fermentation process, which acts as a natural preservative. The bread is yeasted, but the slow ferment makes it more digestible and nutritious; it’s a good option for people sensitive to gluten.

After a few years operating on the northern beaches, Austin found that a large portion of his customer base was travelling from the inner west to buy his breads. When it came to opening a third location, Balmain seemed like the logical choice.

“I like that it has kind of a village feel,” says Austin. “Coming from the northern beaches, I wanted to move somewhere that had a strong sense of community and where artisan products would be appreciated.”

The Darling Street location is warm and inviting, with an eye-catching display of classic baguettes, white and whole-wheat loaves, focaccias, danishes and fruit-and-fig sourdough loaves, piled high on wooden shelves and wicker baskets.

Austin’s favourite product is the whole-wheat sourdough, made using stone-ground flour and a mix of ancient grains affectionately known as “kibble”.

Bonfire Bread
304 Darling Street, Balmain
0402 289 172

Daily 6am–6pm