Local Mullumbimby organic bakery Almond Road have taken out one gold and four bronze awards out of the seven bread categories they entered at the prestigious Royal Easter Show.
Slightly confused? Is it Easter yet? No, it isn’t Easter; however, the Royal Easter Show is such a huge event that they do the professional bakery judging a month or so in advance.
The gold award went to Almond Road’s sourdough rye that came in with a score of 91.33 in the traditional organic rye loaf category with only one loaf getting a higher score.
‘The Royal Easter show is the pinnacle – it is almost the biggest baking show in Australia,’ said baker Simon Powick.
The four bronze awards were won for the Turkish bread, paleo bread, white sourdough, and grain sourdough.
‘One of the really important aspects of the judging is the feedback that you get, as it is judged by longstanding professional people in the industry. It is a fine feeling when you get a good result,’ said Simon with a smile.
And it is no small undertaking to enter the competition from a rural location such as Mullumbimby.
‘We have to have the bread there by 8.30am for judging, which means we have to get a 6am flight from the Gold Coast to Sydney and then rush to Homebush in peak-hour traffic,’ said Almond Road bakery director Jose Raez.
‘Because we are coming from so far away they extended it by one hour to 9.30am, and we got to Homebush to hand in our entries at 9.24am.
‘If they moved the entry time back to a bit later in the day then they would get more entries from bakers around Australia.’
Even with all the pressure to get the bread from Mullumbimby to Sydney by 9.30am, Simon and Jose still believe it is worth.
‘It exposes our talent and it is our belief that you can make quality products from natural products,’ said Jose.
‘Yes, I like to keep it very pure,’ continued Simon, highlighting that their focus is all about natural ingredients rather than adding things such as honey to create extra flavour.
Like life, Jose believes the experience of developing and running Almond Bakery and making superb, organic, artisanal bread is a journey; ‘The name Almond Road comes from a road I previously lived on with my wife and it is symbolic of the journey we are on’.
That journey involves not only providing a fantastic range of bread including vegan, paleo and gluten-free options but also helping in the community. Following on from Cyclone Debbie and the devastation it wrought throughout the northern rivers they put on a pizza night fundraiser in support of Lismore flood relief.
‘We had a really successful pizza night fundraiser, raising more than $4,500 that was donated to the Lismore Gofundme campaign set up by Lismore Council.’
Currently they are in the process of becoming the first certified organic bakery in the northern rivers.
‘We try to keep our sources as local as possible but it is a challenge for local producers because the costs of becoming organically certified are high. So we are trying to do it as organically and sustainably as possible.’
If you are interested in Almond Road breads you can contact them by email [email protected]
or call on 0438 023 600.