Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Bakers Stoking Up Hearthfire for a Top Crust

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Bakers Stoking Up Hearthfire for a Top Crust

Article excerpt

LOVE of good food is what inspired Justin Wilkinson to become a baker and good luck led him and Brisbane baker Phil Dean to cross paths.

The two discovered they shared a passion for sourdough bread and wood-fired ovens and seven years ago he joined Phil in the newly created Hearthfire Bakery.

Back then the bakery was purely wholesale and the sourdough loaves were cooked in a brick oven on Bundagen Community, north of Mylestom.

Last year the pair decided to take the retail plunge and move their business to the heart of Bellingen.

Hidden in the alleyway beside the Federal Hotel, the tiny cafe is the public face of a busy bakery complete with a magnificent Italian oven.

"We decided we were ready to let people see who we are," Justin said.

"This site is perfect because we have the cafe plus the old storeroom behind the Hammond and Wheatley building, which we converted into the bakery.

"We've got much more equipment but all the loaves are still hand-formed - that's the artistic side of baking. …

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