Tasty Rotto hotspot

Sue YeapThe West Australian
Regan Wright at Rottnest Bakery.
Camera IconRegan Wright at Rottnest Bakery. Credit: Sue Yeap

No trip to Rottnest is complete without a visit to the Rottnest Bakery to stock up on bread, pies and baked treats. Many holiday-makers also depart the island loaded up with a haul from the bakery.

Anecdotally, older visitors always reminisce about the cream bun while youngsters head for doughnuts in flavours including jam and custard.

“I am probably going to meet you in the middle and say the jam and cream doughnut — that has always been a really good seller,” bakery supervisor Regan Wright says. “We will sell out of these every day.”

Wright confirmed the cream bun was still popular and one of the longest-standing items in the bakery’s range. “They are the old-school favourites; you see a lot of retired people come here and dive straight into those.

“The cream bun has really stuck with us, the other one being the Rotto loaf, a 100 per cent sourdough It is one of a kind.”

Doughnuts from Rottnest Bakery.
Camera IconDoughnuts from Rottnest Bakery. Credit: Sue Yeap

Wright says the bakery continued to sell a “humungous” amount of pies.

While the lamb and rosemary is popular, the plain steak remains the biggest seller.

“Pies, in a week in summer, we would probably sell 7000-10,000,” Wright says.

“We have one pie maker, Lindsay (Hodges), who is 66 years old who does them all by hand. He has been here 14 years.”

Unlike some other bakery staff who live on Rottnest, Wright says Hodges arrives on the first boat and catches the 4.30pm ferry ride home each day.

Baking on an island means having to be well stocked with essentials such as flour, especially in winter, in case the supply barge is delayed due to big swells. During peak season, there are two pastry chefs, three bread makers and Hodges.

The bakers don’t get time to get back to Perth to check out trends in mainland bakeries but that doesn’t hamper creativity.

“A really good influence for getting ideas would be Instagram — having a look through there,” Wright says.

“Our bakers and pastry chefs are pretty on to it. They like to think of new things they can make themselves.”

Hot cross buns have just landed in store on Tuesdays and Fridays, with a secret blend of spices and fruit. If you can’t make it to Rottnest, they are also available at The Good Grocer in Leederville, South Perth, Applecross and Shenton Park, Canning Bridge IGA and Wembley Supa IGA.

“They are baked on the island and taken back to Perth,” explains Dale Dwyer, general manager of the Brindle Group’s Rottnest operations, including Rottnest General Store and Geordie Bay General Store.

“Ninety nine per cent of the products customers will come in and find in our bakeries are made from scratch, and we make them all on site.”

Rottnest Bakery hot cross buns.
Camera IconRottnest Bakery hot cross buns. Credit: Supplied

Since coming under the ownership of the Brindle Group five years ago, Rottnest Bakery has had a complete makeover, with more self-service areas inside and new lines such as sushi and quality coffee.

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