Every day, the delectable and mouth-watering window display at Bondi Junction’s The Cook and Baker draws crowds of loyal local customers, who are craving a brioche with cinnamon sugar, a signature doughnut with jam and vanilla custard or a passionfruit meringue tart. All the goods are baked daily on the premises so there is always the promise of something fresh and delicious to eat, whether you want sweet or savoury. Owners Cherie Bevan and Tass Tauroa are both former chefs, originally from New Zealand, and they have joined forces to create delicious fresh baked goods, based on recipes from their homeland.
“A lot of our customers are surprised to discover what constitutes traditional New Zealand food,” says Cherie, the ‘cook’ at The Cook and Baker. “Neenish tarts for example, and our Louise cake. Our doughnuts too, are made in classic New Zealand style. Not to mention the controversial pavlova!”
So the pavlova originated from New Zealand rather than Australia?
“Absolutely!” Cherie says, laughing.
The Cook and Baker opened less than a year ago, but from the outset it has thrived within the bustling close-knit community of Bondi Junction. The premises already contained a kitchen but Cherie and Tass needed extra equipment, such as another fridge and a commercial mixer and a dough sheeter for making croissants. “We relied on Silver Chef to help us by hiring out the equipment we needed,” says Cherie. By renting the equipment with the option to buy, Cherie and Tass found they had more financial freedom to channel their capital in other directions. And they also had the flexibility to decide what equipment they needed.
Despite The Cook and Baker being received so enthusiastically by locals, Cherie and Tass have also expanded their customer base beyond Bondi Junction through the Internet. Their website thecookandbaker.com.au displays tantalizing professional photographs of glossy passionfruit meringue tarts, lamingtons topped with strawberries and cream, savoury bites and intriguing single-serve banana cakes, iced with cream cheese frosting and drizzled with salted caramel. The enticing pictures, by photographer Joshua Oldfield, also promote The Cook and Baker’s Facebook page and Instagram, with followers receiving a daily update inviting them to sample some mini apple and rhubarb crumble or the soup of the day. The ‘old school’ home baking that Cherie and Tass both love is not only delicious but also photogenic, making it popular with customers beyond local Bondi Junction.