Bakery 2Until the 1950's Australian bakeries were usually small, family owned businesses offering a limited product range. Government regulations controlled the prices that could be charged, when baking could occur and where the bread could be delivered.

The situation changed rapidly from the 1960's when many of these small businesses were taken over by larger companies including the Southern Border Bakeries, Sunicrust (Bunge) and Rutherglen Bakeries. New technologies such as automatic ovens, slicing machines and bread wrapping machines were introduced and bread production was centralised. Large quantities of bread could be baked in the new ovens, then delivered to smaller local bakeries to be sold. The bakeries that were bought out were not permitted to make bread on-site.


Recent years have seen a return to smaller business methods, boutique products and artisan production methods. Well known in the North East Victoria region the Beechworth Bakery began in the Victorian town of the same name in 1984 and now has shops in Albury, Bendigo, Ballarat, Echuca and Healesville. Many people purchase their bread from artisan producers such as Boonderoo Farm where the flour is milled on-site and the bread and pastries are baked in a wood fired oven.

Anne and Tom Laing bought the Yackandandah Bakery in 1979. In 2015 Tom celebrated 56 years as a baker and pastry cook while his son who works alongside him marks 22 years in the trade.

Bakery 3 Tom is still baking in the old traditional way using recipes dating back to the 1950's from a recipe book given to him by a senior baker / pastry cook named Charlie Walters. Another mentor named Frank McKenna taught him to make pastry and Tom still follows those same recipes today. Tom started his apprenticeship at the tender age of fifteen at Wynne's Bakery in Dean Street Albury and has been baking at Yackandandah Bakery for the past thirty five years. Tom is one of the oldest bakers / pastry cooks in Australia still practising his trade. His commitment and dedication to the trade is unsurpassed.

The Yackandandah Bakery demonstrates traditional and contemporary practices operating side by side. Modern machinery allows sandwich loaves to be machine mixed whilst he sourdough is mixed by hand. The Yackandandah Bakery offers a diverse range of products including breads, pies and cakes plus new additions such as barista coffee, sushi and rice paper rolls.

Despite the advances in technology, baking at the Yackandandah Bakery still begins around 2 am!