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NSW Success Stories – Anna Polyviou

Anna Polyviou's croissants, AlexandriaCREDIT: Anna Polyviou

During lockdown, pastry chef Anna Polyviou partnered with Textbook Patisserie.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

NSW Success Stories
– Anna Polyviou

Anna Polyviou's croissants, Alexandria CREDIT: Anna Polyviou

During lockdown, pastry chef Anna Polyviou partnered with Textbook Patisserie.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Hashtags #lovensw #ilovesydney

During Sydney’s second lockdown, pastry chef Anna Polyviou decided to use the extra downtime to brush up on her croissant-making skills. She contacted her friend John Ralley from Textbook Patisserie in Alexandria and asked if she could join his kitchen for some extra training, spending the next few weeks under his guidance baking croissants and danishes that stretched beyond the traditional - documenting the process on social media along the way. Her posts caught the curiosity of her fans, and whatever flaky creations she was baking – from Eton mess croissants to spanakopita croissants — they wanted in.  

“Originally it was just to muck around and build on my skills,” she says. “But people kept asking me, ‘Anna, where can we get these croissants?’ and so we started selling them every Saturday morning, and people started flying in.” She’s now selling around 300 croissants each week in collaboration with Ralley, and the success has given her confidence to open a shop of her own, with a lease signed in Marrickville and plans to open doors in 2022.  

“Walking into Textbook and working with Johnny and his team made me miss being around a kitchen,” she says. “I think what lockdown has made me realise is that we do need people around us. We do need our customers and we need to listen to what they want.” 

Listening to the desires of her fans has been part of the success for Polyviou; many of her most popular creations have been audience ideas that have slid into her Instagram DMs. “We did the Fairy Bread, which went crazy and we sold out in half an hour after the doors opened.” Other decadent creations include Biscoff and Lamington versions, plus savoury croissants like spanakopita, burrata, and cheesy Vegemite.  

But her pastry pivot wasn’t enough for the proactive chef, whose last lockdown project was a great success: creating the cult-favourite takeaway cookie dough for Chargrill Charlie’s. A serendipitous opportunity opened up with sustainable baked-goods brand This Is Us, famous for launching their sourdough English muffins and crumpets at Harris Farm stores last lockdown. When chef Christopher Thé left the company, business owner Sam Moussa invited Polyviou to take his place, and she’s continuing to develop the brand’s products and help grow the business. “Having Anna join us brings another level of creativity to our product development allowing us to continue with our ethos of doing familiar things but better,” says Moussa. 

Anna Polyviou's fairy bread croissant, Alexandria CREDIT: Anna Polyviou

During lockdown, pastry chef Anna Polyviou partnered with Textbook Patisserie.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Anna Polyviou's fairy bread croissant, Alexandria CREDIT: Anna Polyviou

During lockdown, pastry chef Anna Polyviou partnered with Textbook Patisserie.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Anna Polyviou’s creations at Textbook Patisserie CREDIT: Vanessa Low

During lockdown, pastry chef Anna Polyviou partnered with Textbook Patisserie.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Anna Polyviou’s creations at Textbook Patisserie CREDIT: Vanessa Low

During lockdown, pastry chef Anna Polyviou partnered with Textbook Patisserie.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

For Anna, it’s Moussa’s passion for sustainability and championing farmers that drew her to the business. “The bread line is really important for me, understanding what makes a really good sourdough and sourcing really good flours for the product,” she says. Moussa sources all his flour locally: for the English muffins, he sources Lancer wheat, which comes from North Star NSW and grown by Doolin Agriculture, who practice regenerative farming techniques. The flour is then milled by FPM cereal milling in Tamworth. 

“The Anna Polyviou brand is playful, and This Is Us is more about sustainability, and I think that's important as well. Thinking of locally sourced ingredients and working with the farmers is really important,” she says. “The fact that I've been introduced to both worlds is awesome.” 

Both worlds are set to collide at her new shop – Polyviou plans to stock her and Moussa’s This Is Us products as well as having her freshly baked croissants coming out of the oven every morning. “I also want to have a bit of a Greek twist in there as well. I want to be doing my spanakopita, I want to have some of mum's halloumi cheese, too,” she says, adding that she wants to collaborate with the Marrickville community (coffee roasters, fishmongers, fruit and vegetable producers) as much as possible. “That's what's going to keep my shop alive. I'm listening to what people want and delivering that,” she says. “But if lockdown didn't happen, I don't think I would have been in this mindset.”  

annapolyviou.com
textbookpatisserie.com.au
thisisus.com.au 

For more information on things to see and do in Sydney go to www.sydney.com.   

Share your favourite holidays in Sydney and NSW on social media using @sydney #ilovesydney @visitnsw #lovensw.   

The NSW Government via Destination NSW is sharing a series of NSW Success Stories – businesses of all types that have adapted their offerings to face the current environment and continue serving their community with a fresh approach and shining success. These innovative initiatives are nothing short of inspiring.      

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