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Croissant D’or by Veganarchy arrives in Civic

Michaela McGrath

If you’ve uttered the words ‘Croissant D’or’ to any Canberra foodie in the past four decades you’ve likely see a look of love flicker in their eye.

A Canberra institution in its own right, the patisserie carved an enduring reputation for itself with fresh French pastries and over 40 years of service.

However, after falling on hardship in recent years, the shop that captured the hearts (and tastebuds) of Canberra has seen a revival at the hands of the city’s resident vegan baking specialist, Gabrielle Carr.

Opening its doors last month, Croissant D’or by Veganarchy is a collision of two great Canberra names, past and present, with an oh-so-sweet plant-based twist.

“I considered rebranding and just going with my own café but I wanted to pay homage to the institution that had already been built by the previous owners,” explains owner Gabrielle. “I just felt the respect to Canberra and the previous owners to not kill the brand that was already there”.

Gabrielle Carr

Croissant D’or by Veganarchy is the latest iteration of a vegan baking journey that kicked off when Gabrielle began baking with a friend in an effort to combat depression. Whipping up plant-based goodies to take to shows and donating the proceeds to charity, they tapped into a passion that would lend itself to hours baking, tweaking and tasting in the kitchen.

“It was just something to get me out of bed because I’d been feeling so unwell,” they explain. “It was very productive and I felt great about it, so that then extended into having a business”.

Owning their own store had been a goal from the beginning for Gabrielle.

“In the back of my mind I always thought that I was going to own a business,” they say. “I had no idea what business it was going to be but it was always on my mind that I would work for myself.”

Much like the name, the fit-out of Croissant D’or by Veganarchy sees a merging of both brands with the iconic cabinet that started it all in 1978 remaining at the heart of the new look bakery.

The fresh décor closely resembles the original patisserie, just with a new lick of paint and minor updates. But with further renovations pencilled in, customers can expect to see a revitalised take on the Canberra classic in coming months.

Over the summer break, Gabrielle plans to remove the front window and replace it with a bar and bi-fold windows. “It will be more like a service counter,” explains Gabrielle. “Making it really accessible from the outside because there are accessibility issues for disabled people with the front step.”

As for the food, it goes without saying that Gabrielle’s plant-based influence has seen a shift from the traditionally buttery French pastries. Acquiring all of the Croissant D’or classics, they are excited by the challenging prospect of ‘veganising’ the traditionally animal-product-based recipes.

One such revamped classic is the spinach and tofeta roll. Previously one of the bakery’s most popular savouries, Gabrielle quickly worked to rejig the traditionally cheese-based pastry to make it accessible to all. With all of the cheesy, spinachy goodness you know and love with an ethical twist, what’s not to love?

As they continue to craft and perfect plant-based croissants, danishes, macarons and more, customers can enjoy the array of sweets that saw Veganarchy garner its initial dedicated following.

Of note are the doughnuts. Light, fluffy and with an array of carefully curated flavours, it’s no wonder they’re one of the new best sellers. A culinary feat and a drawcard in itself is the lemon meringue doughnut where Gabrielle trades egg whites for aquafaba (a liquid achieved from soaking beans) in a fiddly yet very impressive plant-based dupe that rivals the real thing in both indulgence and gloss. Not to mention the cookies and cream donut, which we’ve heard closely resembles the taste of toasted marshmallow.

In the future, customers can expect to see the shop evolve to become both a bakery and deli space, stocking Gabrielle’s own brand of vegan cheeses and meats that have previously been exclusively available for purchase from the markets.

Catering to everyone from the plant-based and vego-curious to those who just want an indulgent treat, Croissant D’or by Veganarchy is already making waves in Canberra’s vegan community.

“The response has been bigger than I’d expected,” says Gabrielle. “It’s been non-stop.”

the essentials

What: Croissant D’or by Veganarchy
Where: 33 East Row, Civic
When: Monday – Friday 7.30am – 3.30pm
Website: veganarchy.com.au

Images via Facebook

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Michaela McGrath

Michaela is a New Zealand born Australian currently based in Adelaide. Spending her childhood in Canberra’s north, she regularly travels east to the nation’s capital to visit family and friends. An avid foodie, Michaela is thrilled to see Canberra’s thriving hospitality scene continue to unfold. She is in her final semester of a Bachelor of Media with a major in Journalism at the University of Adelaide, and is an aspiring food and lifestyle writer with a passion for all things local. When she’s not busy writing her next piece, you’ll find Michaela on the hunt for the next place to grab a caffeine fix or whipping up a storm in the kitchen. More about the Author