Bread as it should be

8th October, 2015

The sleepy hamlet of Flinders is tucked away on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. This picturesque part of the country is well known for its award-winning wines and olive oil.

In more recent times, however, word has spread that Flinders is the place to go for some of the finest bread in the country, courtesy of David Allen and Margaret Carey and their Flinders Sourdough bakery.

With their tussled hair and casual easy going manner, David and Margaret may look like they are students on vacation on the Peninsula, but they take their bread very seriously. Originally trained as winemakers, they fell in love with the art of traditional bread-making while helping out at the much loved Red Beard Bakery in the historic Victorian town of Trentham.

Having gotten a taste for bread-making, David and Margaret spent the best part of a year scouring the country to find an original, yet functional, Scotch Oven to bake their bread. They eventually found one in an old weatherboard building in Flinders.

Although built in 1890, the oven was still in reasonable condition – unlike much of the building, which needed a good dose of TLC. Their vision for an artisan bakery became a reality with the refurbishment of a classic 1940s large-scale mixer.

As bakers, David and Margaret put their winemaking training to good use in the management of the processes involved in fermenting the sourdough. A complete fermentation, which can take anywhere between 8 and 11 hours, breaks down the natural sugars in the flour to produce a low GI loaf with a crust that really needs to be tasted to be fully appreciated.

Like many young people who go into business for themselves, David and Margaret are not afraid of hard work, which is fortunate, as their average working day is around 16 hours in temperatures that are often above 40 degrees.

With such taxing hours involved in their business, David and Margaret made the smart decision to use MYOB AccountRight to manage their bookwork and accounts. This accounting software can work on or offline, allowing them to take care of business behind the counter during quiet times, or on a mobile device when they’re out meeting with suppliers.

Obviously over the counter sales at the bakery are important to the couple, but David and Margaret also really enjoy taking their bread to the public at farmers markets across the Mornington Peninsula.

“That one-to-one interaction with our customers is what it’s all about,” says David. “We’re proud of our bread and we work hard to make it. So it’s great to meet and talk with people who love what we do.”

If you’re ever on the Mornington Peninsula, drop by and say hello to David and Margaret at Flinders Sourdough, 58 Cook Street, Flinders.

This article was originally published in the first edition of MYOB’s broadsheet, Insights, also available on iPad.