Major expansion in the works at Dean St Bakery
MOST days when you drive past the Dean St Bakery, you will find a line-up outside.
To tackle this issue, owners Sam and Cydelle Hayman have begun an expansion.
They have leased next door through Brian Gearney at Mr Real Estate and are in the midst of putting some doors in the middle, to create a shop on one side and a production space on the other.
The popular bakery was opened in 1984 by Sam's parents, Nigel and Kay Hayman.
Prior to Dean St, his parents had Mount Morgan Bakery from 1977.
Sam had been working in the power station industry for 15 years and Cydelle had her own hairdressing salon - but the pair quit their jobs to take over the bakery in July 2018.
They have been building up the business since then and are now taking their biggest leap and expanding.
"We still have a lot of the same recipes and the way everyone likes it," Sam said.
Another improvement has been a new oven as they just replaced the original one which was secondhand in 1984.
Sam estimated the oven had baked easily 3.5 million bread loaves and 4.5 million cream buns.
The oven worked overtime in the 2011 Rocky floods when it was running 24/7 to keep up with the bread demand.
It was still in working order but they decided to replace it rather than it breaking down in the middle of a work day.
Sam is also doing his baking apprenticeship under their qualified tradesman.
The bakery is still in the same layout it has been since 1984 and they are quite restricted in space.
Given the small store, the bakers start work at 9.30pm so that they are finished by the morning for the retail staff to come in.
"There is physically not enough room at the back of the bakery to have four or five bakers and then four or five staff, because we share benches and that sort of stuff," Sam said.
"The expansion will have more areas for people to get in and not have to wait."
COVID-19 has also highlighted the small space, with the social distancing requirements limiting them even more.
"We can only get a limited number of people in the shop and we are limited to what we can do," Sam said.
Sam said the shop next door had been vacant for the past five years and "had more leases than you can poke a stick at".
When the bakery first opened, it was a fruit shop, The Salad Bowl, and over the years there has been video shops, a bike shop, a florist and the last one was an Asian grocer.
"We have always thought about moving in next door... just weren't ready to make the jump," Sam said.
"With the way we are now and how busy we are and space restrictions, we spoke to the landlord and came to an agreement so we are all excited to display our stuff better but also give us more room to work in."
The expansion will allow them to serve barista coffee and also have a new coldroom which will reduce electricity costs.
"Even when we are busy we only have one point of sale system. Now we are going to have two of everything - two points of sale, two pie heaters, just everything duplicated."
While the operation may be bigger, Sam assured customers that nothing would change with their quality of food.
"Biggest thing we focus on is fresh; all of our stuff is baked that day and if it's not sold that day, it's turfed," Sam said.
"It's been in the family since 1984 and we aren't looking at a short-term thing, we are looking at long term."