With more time at home during the height of the COVID-19 restrictions, I, along with half my Instagram feed, attempted to bake. As it turns out, I am terrible at anything dough related.
So, while I was posting Instagram stories featuring my flat sad attempt at bread, other Canberrans were posting crispy, flaky bake-at-home creations from Three Mills Bakery.
The beloved Majura Park bakery-come-café, which is renowned for their sourdough and artisan pastries, met the COVID-19 curveball head on and hit it out of the park with their new range.
“A few days into the crisis we knew we had to do something pretty quickly to simply survive. We had to work with what we had differently to keep our team employed. Fortunately, we had been testing a range of bake-at-home pastries since late last year. We were nowhere near ready, but it was the right time to launch,” director of Three Mills Bakery Jarrod Deaton told Region Media.
“A couple of huge challenges we faced were that we had no previous experience with e-commerce and had trouble finding a consistent supply of produce and packaging.”
With a steep learning curve in digital transformation soon their bake-at-home range was in the ovens and on the social media feeds of locals.
The list of products available for delivery is ever-evolving. It currently includes the new range of bake-at-home goodies of quiches, croissants, sausage rolls and family-sized pies. Also available is a range of ready-made sourdough, granola, brownies and cookies, along with some pantry staples of flour, coffee, butter, and their very own cookbook Beyond Bread and Butter.
After I had another particularly disheartening failed attempt to make my own sourdough, I decided to hang up my flour-stained apron and leave it to the experts. To satisfy the carb cravings of my household, I filled my online cart full of Three Mills Bakery products. Within 48 hours my order was on my doorstep.
It was lovingly packed with cold packs for the frozen bake-at-home items, a thank you note for supporting the business and full instructions on how to cook each item (which with my baking-novice skill level was very much appreciated).
Over the next fortnight, instead of pulling out inedible duds from my oven, my family was treated to breakfasts of warm flaky melt in your mouth Chocolate Croissants and Cinnamon Escargots. Lunches featured oversized and ingredient-laden sausage rolls while dinner was made up of meat-filled family-sized pies.
There was something very special each time about pulling out the warm pastry products from the oven. It felt like a team effort, even though, in reality, obviously all the talent and skill were from the Three Mills Bakery team, I was just reaping the benefits of their hard work and technique.
“It is safe to say that we underestimated how steep the learning curve would be, but we have been overwhelmed by the support from our lovely customers. Everyone has been incredibly supportive and understanding. We have received hundreds of supportive emails, calls, text, and social media messages from customers which spurred us on,” Jarrod said.
The good news is that the bake-at-home range and home delivery are here to stay!
“We’re in the process of refining our recipes and creating some new online-only specials,” Jarrod said.
“We are also working on recipe pairings for our sourdough bread. We have been enjoying the amount of feedback we’ve received which has led to lots of our products being improved.”
To stock up on the Three Mills Bakery range, head to the website.