Voices of the Shutdown: Three Mills Bakery

Jun 8, 2020

We talk to the team at Three Mills Bakery about their experiences during the covid shutdown, how they have adapted to the new restrictions and their thoughts on the future of the hospitality industry.

Jarrod and the team behind Three Mills Bakery in Canberra share a passion for not only creating artisan breads and pastries, but also supporting each other and the wider industry.

How have the restrictions impacted you?

Apart from a large decrease in sales to other cafes, we have managed to remain open (albeit very differently). It caused a significant change to our focus as we searched for ways to survive. Our roles became exponentially more diverse and we each had to make decisions in the moment that impacted the rest of our team.

Outside of work, each of us face the same challenges as others except there was no shortage of flour for us!

How has your business adapted to the current climate?

Today we’re operating what feels like a completely different business than we were only 6 weeks ago. Previously we’d been focused on supplying cafes and restaurants with fresh baked goods. Now we’re home delivering fresh sourdough and a frozen bake-at-home pastry range directly to our customers. The shift required the team to immediately begin innovating around things like ecommerce, blast chilling, baking in home ovens, cold chain logistics, delivering to many more locations and packing unique individual orders. We’ve been really lucky to have had the support from our community while we got it up and running.

What’s keeping you sane during this time?

I think work and working out is keeping us sane! The team is so great and the changing nature of the work has required an all hands on approach which hasn’t allowed us much time to think about anything else!

What is your go-to quarantine food and drink?

Apart from being spoiled with home deliveries from some of Canberra’s best restaurants, we’ve been experimenting with so many new products lately so each week there has been no shortage of quarantine food for us to try. Bake-at-home family pies, sausage rolls, croissants, escargots, apple turnovers and twice baked croissants have all been on the menu lately! As for drinks, wine. Lots of wine!

three mills bakery
What do you think the hospitality industry will look like post COVID19?

Like many service-based industries, hospitality revolves around the human connection and customer experiences. Our first thought would be that customers who’ve been in isolation will welcome the chance to get back to their favourite cafe, restaurant or entertainment venue and expect it to be the same as it was before. Some things will change for sure, others will go back to the old and no doubt many businesses will combine the two because this period would have revealed an opportunity to change.

Any online cooking classes/websites/social media we should be looking at right now?

We haven’t had a lot of time to look around at other approaches! From our end, we’re releasing a series of short videos on making sourdough at home which directly links to our cookbook – Beyond Bread and Butter. Social media has become a huge part of our day though. It has allowed us to develop a wonderful connection with customers that we previously never shared directly.

What are you working on at the moment?

We’d love to continue the message behind our cookbook and the wonderful world of sourdough breads. We’re still incredibly focused on using native ingredients and demonstrating the versatility of sourdough breads. The concept of the cookbook was to never waste a single bit of that loaf you’ve just made or purchased from your local artisan bakery. We have too much respect for the effort that goes into making it and the raw ingredients.

What images would best sum up your experiences during this time?

Etched into our minds is hand rolling many croissants and sausage rolls!

If you want to keep up to date with Three Mills Bakery you can follow them on social media:

Instagram: @threemillsbakery

Facebook: Three Mills Bakery

Website: www.threemillsbakery.com.au

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