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NSW Success Stories - Bells Bakery

Bells Bakery, Central CoastCREDIT: Dom Cherry

Bells Bakery, Bells at Killcare.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

NSW Success Stories
- Bells Bakery

Bells Bakery, Central Coast CREDIT: Dom Cherry

Bells Bakery, Bells at Killcare.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

Hoteliers Karina and Brian Barry had always fantasised about adding a bakery to their boutique hotel, Bells at Killcare. But amid the day-to-day running of the renowned Central Coast establishment, there was scant opportunity to devote time to such dreams. But when the first Covid lockdown plunged their 98 per cent occupancy rate down to zero, the couple dusted off the idea and fired up the ovens to launch Bells Bakery.  

Much to their surprise, the bakery was a runaway success. “We had a queue out the door at Bells right away with our local community wanting to support us,” says Karina Barry. She estimates its revenue has doubled between the hotel reopening after the last lockdown to this most recent lockdown. “It’s a serious business now. We have a dedicated team looking after the bakery, which is separate to the restaurant,” says Barry.  

Once the first lockdown ended, the couple vowed to keep the bakery running to cater to their now carb-dependant locals, so they hired head baker Brad Reiher, two additional bakers, and renovated the kitchen to properly cater to the new business. Their makeshift shop set up in an adjacent lounge area was replaced by a stunning French-inspired boulangerie, complete with chandelier and marble countertop. 

Despite its Gallic aesthetic, the offering is a little more Australian, with the likes of vanilla slice and the most popular item, pork sausage rolls encased in handmade puff pastry. The rolls invariably sell out alongside the sourdough by 9am.  

Bells Bakery, Central Coast CREDIT: Dom Cherry

Bells Bakery, Bells at Killcare.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Bells Bakery, Central Coast CREDIT: Dom Cherry

Bells Bakery, Bells at Killcare.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

“At the start of the lockdown, we were baking five to 10 a day to meet the walk-in lunch trade. Currently, we’re now baking 30 to 40 each day,” says Reiher. Luckily, Barry says locals are forgiving if they miss out on a sausage roll. “The good thing about a bakery is that it’s acceptable to sell out. People will understand. There is a culture with bakeries that you’ve got to get in early,” she says.  

Pastries such as croissants and Portuguese tarts also walk out the door. There are also take-home meals, such as lasagne, moussaka, family pies, and the most decadent of comfort foods, a truffle mac-and-cheese, which came into being after a planned truffle dinner had to be cancelled due to the lockdown. 

“It’s a special place to walk into and it breaks up the day,” says Barry of the bakery. She says the ritual of coming to Bells for a takeaway coffee and pastry feels like therapy for the local community, many of whom justify the indulgence with a stroll in the nearby national park or along the beach.  

Although the revenue from the bakery pales in significance compared to the loss from empty hotel rooms, it has become a supplementary income for the business, a much-loved part of Bells and the community, as well as a positive focus for staff in this challenging time.  

“It’s really important for our mental health to be doing something,” says Barry. “As hoteliers our business is 24/7, so we’re used to having people sleeping in our hotels: breakfast, lunch, dinner, right through.” 

While Bells Bakery is here to stay, the pandemic has highlighted a surprising innovation that may have otherwise remained untapped. “We are all so busy doing what we do, we definitely would never have imagined turning a lounge area in our hotel into a bakery,” says Barry.  

Bells Bakery, Central Coast CREDIT: Dom Cherry

Bells Bakery, Bells at Killcare.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Bells Bakery, Central Coast CREDIT: Dom Cherry

Bells Bakery, Bells at Killcare.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

bellsatkillcare.com.au 
Instagram: instagram.com/bells_at_killcare 
Facebook: facebook.com/bellsatkillcare 
Twitter: twitter.com/bellsatkillcare 

For more information on things to see and do in NSW go to www.visitnsw.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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