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“Great ethos, pricey but worth calling in.”
Review of Companion Bakery - CLOSED

Companion Bakery
Price range: US$5 - US$15
Cuisines: Soups
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Restaurant details
Good for: Groups
Dining options: Outdoor Seating
Description: All of our food is made freshly in the bakery using locally grown flour ground at Callington Mill, located opposite the bakery. No pre-mixes or weird stuff. Graham the baker is usually available to show visitors around our wood-fired bakery. Please ask for a tour at the cafe counter. Companion Bakery was the only bakery finalist in this year's Delicious Produce Awards. Our sourdough has been celebrated by Gourmet Farmer and Poh's Kitchen. We make meat pies using local meats and our own recipe, not the premix goo used by other bakeries. Vegetarian options range from full meals to cakes, and vary from day to day depending on what is locally available. Please ask our chef Alison for her recommendation. Coffee? We aim to make the best in Tasmania, brewed from locally roasted Villino coffee beans. We love these beans because they are not over-roasted. If for some reason our barista gets it wrong, simply swap your brew for another.
Reviewed 19 March 2013

We had quiche, a pie and drinks and took away a loaf and some Moo Brew (great beer, pick it up where you can). It was a little more than you could expect to pay elsewhere, but the food was great, the bread was amazing, the setup of the cafe is the right side of quaint-chic and the hook (everything is made from flour milled at the old-fashioned windmill across the road), hard to beat.

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    • Food
Thank icecool16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (19)
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7 - 11 of 19 reviews

Reviewed 12 March 2013 via mobile

The shop has a great ambience to it with the gourmet food to suit. We suggest that the trio of dips is a great start. A must taste !!

    • Value
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Thank Brendonhope
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2013

Excellent ice cream and good looking home baked produce, handy place to watch the world go by. Helpful staff. Could do to extend their hours.

Thank PW24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2013

Companion Bakery bakes REAL bread - woodfired organic sourdoughs. They have a good variety of breads depending on the season. The cafe provides tasty and nutritious meals made on-site from fresh ingredients. Certainly the best food on the Midlands Highway.

Thank Kaaren5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2013

It's such a shame - this little bakery is gorgeous, the food is good, the "philosophy" (ie locally milled flour) is great - but the issue of the service really needs to be addressed. We had had a pleasant visit some months ago, but today we really were made to feel like an inconvenient imposition on the woman serving us. She was rude, unsmiling, unhelpful..... dreadful. We left feeling really angry and sorry that we'd spent our money there. I see that the owner has responded in defence of the staff below - I'd never wish for anybody to lose their job, but maybe other tasks could be found for people who clearly have no skills in customer service.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Lones7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GrahamPrichard, Owner at Companion Bakery, responded to this reviewResponded 13 January 2013


I fully understand your frustration at not getting the service you expected. I am happy to hear that the food was great.

We have made lots of changes since the last bad review. The good reviews show most people are happy with the toilets, Villino coffee and (generally) the service.

The service issue that caused you frustration on Saturday morning concerns sit down vs takeaway prices. You are not the only person that queries why it costs more to sit down with a pie (plus salad and chutney).

Please let me explain how this works, using a pie as an example...

1. Companion Bakery make everything from scratch (except for our butter croisants). We use the highest quality ingredients we can get our hands on. Our pies, with local meat, fresh herbs and a simple oil or butter pastry using local organic flour, cost at least $4.00 to make. We sell them takeaway for $6.90 (margin of $2.90)

2. A 'conventional' bakery or cafe pays 60 cents each for a pie, either frozen or using a 'flavour enhancing' pie mix and disgusting margarine pastry. They sell them takeaway for $5.00 (margin $4.40).

3. The conventional bakery or cafe does not care if you sit down or takeaway because they are making a large margin regardless.

4. Companion Bakery and other places that actually care about the food they serve do not make enough margin on takeaway to make the business viable.

A takeaway item from our bakery is actually a 'gift' to you...by the time we take out our costs we are lucky to break even. If we were serious operators we would charge what the item is worth for take-away, similar to sit-down.

5. We rely on people to sit down and enjoy the value-added meals...quality local food made by the people that serve them (our staff cook and serve).

6. When a customer gets frustrated with the staff (cook) about paying what the food is actually worth (the sit down price) the cook feels depressed and worthless and as the owner of Companion Bakery I understand their grumpy behaviour in these circumstances.

Of course you could not possibly have known all of this, so I also understand your frustration.

We operated Companion Bakery for two years on a flat-rate take-away / sit-down price and that was not viable. All country food establishments serving high quality food have the same problem.

Look around and almost every country food operator does it the easy way...unloading dodgy frozen goods from the back of a truck and re-heating it. They use pre-mixes and imitation products. Almost zero labour costs, poor quality food, big margins, unhealthy people.

I still can not understand how anyone could serve low quality food to people...no matter how much $ they make.

Higher margins on food means more $ and more time can be spent on labour for service (rather than labour to make amazing food). There are so many examples of this...from big franchises to smaller cafes.

Many of these places are essentially serving you the same food you buy in the frozen section of your supermarket...sad food served with a smile.

Our focus is good food because we want to please you. That is our expression of good service.


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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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