Jayson Brockman and Tom Lambert opened the doors of Evoke Bakery the day after Boxing Day, hoping to do a ‘soft launch’ of their products and get a feel for the neighbourhood.
“So we thought we’d just sneak in quietly and just start doing a few things … but we didn’t realise that we were going to be the only place open that did takeaway coffee!” Tom told Region.
Despite the initial shock, they hit the ground running and have quickly settled into their corner of Curtin Shops.
The pair met through mutual friends about five years ago. Tom had started out in landscaping but had transitioned to accounting to learn more about running a business. Jayson is a baker but was tired of the inhospitable hours and workplace culture of the industry.
Together they decided to open a business that would combine Tom’s business savvy with Jayson’s baking expertise.
Finding the right location was key, and the duo spent a long time scoping out their options. They had initially looked at some wholesale operations but with Jayson becoming a father they realised that a neighbourhood bakery would allow them to have more control over working hours.
“My biggest thing is the quality of life for bakers … being here, I’m enjoying my work again,” Jayson said.
Tom said he spent a lot of time driving around Canberra suburbs to visit different shopping centres and find a location that had the right demographics. With a busy supermarket, thriving cafes and the recently opened Two Blind Mice adding to the buzz in the evenings, Curtin Shops was a clear front-runner.
“I started getting a sense there was a really strong community focus in this suburb,” Tom explained.
And the community has come on board to support the new business. Since opening they’ve had several busy weeks, and they’re looking forward to seeing how things progress once the summer break is over. They’ve seen the influx of foot traffic at the shops after school hours and are planning to stay open in the evenings to cater to the evening crowd.
The bakers are still building up to their full repertoire as they get comfortable in the space and see which products customers are interested in. There’s a solid offering of sourdough breads, including a very tasty pepper baguette. Jayson says they’ll have a core range of breads and pastries and they’ll play with adding different varieties as they go. He wants the small baking team to stretch their creative muscles, enjoy their work, and still go home at a reasonable time.
Sandwiches and freshly baked pies have recently hit the cabinet and are proving to be very popular, as well as some classic iced doughnuts.
They’re also developing an app so people can purchase ahead of time and pick up without waiting which they’re hoping will attract busy locals.
While it’s still early days, they’re feeling optimistic that they’ve got a future of happy bakers, satisfied customers, and great bread ahead of them.
Evoke Bakery is located at 48 Curtin Pl, Curtin.
They are open from 6 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday, and from 7 am to 3:30 pm on Sunday. They are planning to extend their opening hours to 7 pm in a few weeks’ time. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram to keep up to date.