Doughy Goodness

Located on the extremely narrow roadway of Downie Street in Maryville, Uprising Bakery kind of sneaks up on you, but the café/bakery definitely provides a delightful and tasty surprise. With all the bread and pastries baked fresh each morning in store, you know you’re eating high quality food. The modern yet minimal building also serves up coffee, which you can sip while lying in the shade on a mass of beanbags.

We had a chat with Alice Lees, owner of Uprising, to find out more about this house of doughy goodness.

What’s the story behind Uprising Bakery coming to life?
I started out as a wholesale baker from home. I did that for a few years, and I was just making muffins and tarts and delivering them each morning to the cafes around Islington. Then I started doing a market stall every Sunday, and got a little bigger and a little bit bigger, and I started working on a DA for this building while I was doing that. That took a while to get through, but eventually it did, and yeah, we moved in about a year ago, so on the 18th December, 2013. It’s been a big year.

What made you decide to include the café/sit down area along with the bakery?
I didn’t actually. I only had a couple of chairs when we opened and I did think I would just continue with wholesale. Luke, who is currently behind the coffee machine, I meet through one of the cafes I delivered to. I thought he’s quite good at making coffee, maybe I could buy a little machine and he could make it. I didn’t except it to be as busy as it did, so I only had a couple of chairs and one little table, and then on the first day that we opened, all these people said “where are the tables?” We had a couple of cheap IKEA ones out the back for putting stuff on, so I just grabbed them and put them out the front. Then a couple of months ago I went out and brought a couple more tables. So it was more demand then idea.

What was inspiration your for the décor and design choices?
I wanted to leave the space as simple as possible. This space, a long time ago I use to live in and it was my studio, so it was my work space. I went through university at ANU at the School of Art there, and it’s got a very stark, white, institutional, art deco building and when we were doing things we’d say “don’t add anymore to it, try take away from it”. Then in the science labs there were nice cupboards with wooden benches and nice brass handles. So it’s not institutional in that plastic way but in that 60s, still nice and tactical way.
Basically the bones of this building are quite ugly, like these bricks, everyone said you’re going to have trouble making it a nice space. But by stripping it back as much as possible, we’ve been able to make it come up really well.

I love those branches you have hanging from the roof.
That was just the council, when they were trimming all the trees in the suburb, they were all piled up everywhere and we thought lets use them. It wasn’t going to be permanent but we’ve left them. Occasionally a bird will fly in and perch on them. We had a kingfisher for a while and that was cute.

What’s you’re favourite baked good or favourite thing to bake at the moment?
Probably the canale. They’re a little French pastry, with a hard shell. I like the surprise, because people look at this little brown thing and go, “oh what’s that”, but then they eat it and it tastes great, and it goes so well with coffee.

Originally appeared on Urban Walkabout, Newcastle 

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