Around-Oz: Living the Dream!

Apollo Bay Bakery - Great Ocean Road - Victoria

We heard about this bakery on our travels simply because it came third in the Great Aussie Pie competition in the pastie section. So Bob just had to make sure we made a visit to Apollo Bay! (Anyone who knows him knows only too well how he loves doing the bakery reviews!) Very easy to find this one as it is right in the centre of the village overlooking Apollo Bay. The cake side may not appear very adventurous at all but let me assure you, there is nothing but quality plus in virtually everything in the shop, if our purchases are anything to go by. Another advantage is that everything is absolutely very fresh as this is a high turnover shop, even in the off season period when we visited.


While I did the fruit and vege shopping on Saturday, Bob was sent off a loaf of bread. He just happened the winning pastie award and also the apple scrolls. How did he justify the extras - well seeing it was a prize winner, he thought he should do the right thing and taste test! Similarly the multigrain bread got first placed in the Victorian Bake-off this year so that was another "necessary purchase", and the scrolls - well they were just out of the oven! By the time I got back from my bit of shopping, there was no sign of the pastie but at least he had taken a photo.

Well the judges sure got it right (for my taste buds - yes I am probably the bread connoisseur in the family) and yes the apple scrolls with sultanas were just beautiful. So we decided jointly this bakery definitely warranted a listing on our "Best in Oz" bakeries.


On the Monday morning, we were heading back to Melbourne so thought it worth purchasing another loaf of that yummy bread and asking for a few details to add to our review. I was greeted with Sarah (the lovely lass above), purchased my bread and asked a few questions. Sarah offered to get one of the owners. The two gents at the table above actually come in for breakfast most days. The photo on the wall behind them traces the development of the bakery from its early days up to now!

A couple of minutes later, baker John Weiser came out, wiping his floury hands. He had already visited our site so, of course, he would be delighted to have his shop added. When I asked "How long have you been here?", he answered "32 years". My obvious response "but you're not that old!" An amused John replied "Yes I am. Dad moved here and started the shop one month before I was born, so I've been here 32 years!" John's Mum was 8 months pregnant and John's earliest memories are of his dad preparing the day's baking. He started work with his dad at 14 and is now the master baker himself.


Now the secret of that prize winning bread?? The usual flour etc but the multigrains used are poppy, sunflower, linseed and sesame seeds. "Isn't that giving away a trade secret?" I asked - "No, because I don't give away the exact proportions of which one! John smiled.

I ended up leaving the shop with the loaf of multigrain, two scrolls, a loaf of Mountain Rye bread, two custard tarts and two pasties. Now the custard tarts are something else again - you can actually taste the home made custard and they are not over sweet - just totally melt in the mouth. In fact they were so fresh the pastry shells cracked when Sarah was putting them into the box.


During the summer season (Boxing Day to Easter) there are up to 50 staff required as John opens 7 days a week from 7 am to 5.30 pm, so that gives you an idea of how popular the shop is. The only day you won't find John at the flour board is Christmas Day. For those touring, March is recommended for the best weather.

So whether you want pies, pasties, tarts, cakes, breads or even home made salad, ham, chicken or egg fillings on John's hamburger buns, you won't go wrong with whatever you choose. Thank you John, Sarah and Kerry - we thoroughly enjoyed all your goodies.

Absolutely and totally recommended!

Chrissy Eustace

HEMA 39 K10


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