As dog-loving and coffee-loving locals, we’ve pursued the very pleasurable mission of exploring Canberra to…
COVID has been devastating for the city’s eateries, but for Wildflour owner Mick Rose, it has also focussed his mind on what business model works in a global pandemic—and beyond.
Since opening artisan bakery Wildflour in Fyshwick a year ago, Mick has watched it flourish.
And while it offers a sit-down café menu, the business has done a spectacular trade in takeaway baked goods and light meals—even during the pandemic. So that is where Mick is going to focus his future efforts in opening a second site in Kingston.
“People just want to swing by and grab a good bread and something to eat for lunch that is quick but also a step above fast food,” he said.
“I think Canberrans really do have a bit of a discerning taste when it comes to bread and baked goods and they will support quality bakeries, which is why they have been willing to make the trip out to Fyshwick.”
At a time when sitting down to eat requires careful physical distancing management, Mick has made the leap to open a second, smaller Wildflour in Kingston, which will sell all the favourite take-away items from October.
It means that the customers in the inner south can expect access to a counter laden with fresh patisserie goods, pies, salads and ready-made-sandwiches all prepared fresh each day by French chef Romain Remy and his team who will continue to bake up a storm out of the Fyshwick kitchen.
The location of new Wildflour will be next to the Supabarn site set to open as part of the Atria development on nearby Eyre Street in Old Kingston.
“It makes sense to me to have a bakery next to a supermarket. And in this case, it is a quality supermarket that is a step up from Woollies or Coles as well as a quality bakery that is a step up from a Baker’s Delight. I think customers are going to really appreciate the convenience and the quality.”
He also reasons that if people are willing to make the trip out to Fyshwick to satisfy their Wildflour cravings, they will appreciate being able to get their fix closer in.
And, of course, they will also appreciate Wildflour coffee, which is supplied by Mick’s long-time business partner Sasa “The Coffee Man” Sestic.
While Mick’s other two coffee ventures, The Espresso Rooms in Woden and Tuggeranong have been temporarily closed, he will be reopening new and improved venues in the near future. Stay tuned for further details.
Meanwhile, it is all hands on deck to prepare Wildflour Mark II for opening.
“It’s been a crazy couple of months dealing with all this COVID stuff, and I have spent many sleepless nights worrying about placing all my staff and keeping everything afloat.”
Mick said it felt good to be planning for the future even if physical distancing meant traditional sit-down café models were feeling the pinch.
“I have been able to bring some of my staff back on and that feels good.”
What: Wildflour Kingston
Where: Shop 8/38 Eyre St Kingston
When: Opening October
Photography: Anisa Sabet