In a statement posted to Instagram earlier today, Saga co-owners (and life partners) Andy Bowden and Maddison Howes announced the closure of the Enmore cafe and bakery. Its last day of trade will be Sunday June 25.
“Growing up playing backyard cricket we always played by the rule six and out,” the post reads. “Sometimes these rules apply to life and Saga has just smashed the ball three houses down … It’s been a crazy wild innings but it’s now time for us to hang the gloves up.”
Speaking to Broadsheet, Bowden said the last six years have taken a toll.
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“Six years owning a business is a long time,” he explained. “We came to the realisation that we need to start thinking about ourselves, [but] not in a selfish way. We both work in the business really hard, and we’re always here. I think it gets to a point where you’ve gotta have a life.”
Bowden made his name as an innovative, junk-food-riffing pastry chef at Newtown’s Hartsyard, where his most famous creations included a cone of soft-serve ice-cream upside down on a plate, and a sundae taken straight from your childhood dreams.
He and Howes opened Saga down the road in 2017 – a light-filled sliver of a shop which achieved a cult status equal to Hartsyard. The pastry cabinet put comfort food in the limelight: puff pastries sandwiching Chantilly cream and stewed apples, cannoli buns stuffed full of pistachio-laden ricotta, and mini iterations of Bowden’s Instagrammable celebration cakes.
Beyond pastries, Saga’s sandwiches are also a major draw. There’s the Lee Tran, stuffed with broccoli and caciocavallo, a tribute to respected Sydney food journalist Lee Tran Lam. Saga’s breakfast sandwich – which contains not one but two hashbrowns – made it onto Broadsheet’s notable dining mentions of 2022.
Softening the blow, Bowden hints that there’s more to come. “I can’t do much besides cook so don’t panic, I’ll still be making celebration cakes and other deliciousness,” the Instagram statement reads.
The new venture, which Bowden expects to open in early July, will feature plenty of his signatures – but will swing more towards takeaway (similar to Saga’s now-closed CBD outpost).
“I wouldn’t see this as the end of being able to get all the stuff you expect from me,” he reassures. “I will still be making cakes and I will still be making all the stuff that I make at Saga.”
On the finer details, he remains tight-lipped: “I’m sworn to secrecy. But I will be joining up with somebody else.”
Saga’s last service is on Sunday June 25.