We came to the food business with a background in hospitality and wine and while this experience certainly helped, when it came to the food production game we were absolute novices. One thing we were clear on though was the quality of the product we wanted to make. We have learnt many lessons along the way and received help and support from many people in particular the Barossa community. We arrived in the Barossa in 2003, in my case to work in the wine industry and in William’s for Maggie Beer. We soon realized it was rather a special place and started to lay down plans for Carême and for making the Barossa our home.
An element of Barossa life we soon fell in love with was the weekly Farmers Market. As a new food producer we recognized the market acted as an incubator to businesses like ours. While we were all about making the pastry we of course also loved to bake and so we opened our stall at the Barossa Farmers market in 2005. We always likened our stall to a cellar door where people could come and taste, stop for a chat and get to know us; it was a vital connection with our local community. And so our little stall that began with three types of puff pastry filled turnovers grew into something so much more. We baked a multitude of wonderful sweet and savoury goodies with our range of pastry but on top of that William taught himself how to make sourdough and yeast pastries. Sourdough became a passion so much so that after we shut our stall in 2011 William had to start up the ‘not so secret sourdough club’ to satisfy all those Barossa locals who missed their weekly sourdough. He has since passed on his sourdough knowledge to others in the region and helped other stallholders at the market establish their sourdough businesses.
We are immensely grateful to the support and loyalty shown to us by the wonderful people who frequented the market each week. Many of whom we now call friends. We are often stopped in the street to be told how much a particular pastry is missed; one that made a lasting impression on many people was our lemon cream tart.
Our stall at the market grew beyond our expectations and after 6 years we decided that we either take it to a main street shop front or close the stall to focus on making our pastry. Our family was now four with two little girls, Florence & Elena, and we recognized that biting off more that we could chew would put strain on our young family. So while there were many voices of encouragement and even offers of investment for us to set up a ‘grown-up’ shop front we chose to focus on our pastry and maintaining a work life balance and so it was with much sadness that we shut our farmers market stall.
Over the last few years we have spent much time spreading the word about making and baking with beautiful pastry. We have got to know our wonderful customers across the country through cooking classes and food shows, we still love a chat just like we did across the table at our market stall. We have solved your baking problems, hopefully inspired you with new baking ideas and you have inspired us with your ideas.
We are committed to remaining a family run business supporting independent retailers across Australia and sticking to our philosophy of ‘real food’. We love what we do and look forward to inspiring your baking for another 10 years.
Claire & William