Hunter Bread, a cozy “community bread shop” in a former Brumby’s store, opens in Bicton


Hunter Carlberg did not want Large format write on his bread until he felt it was good enough. Hunter Carlberg, it seems, has very high standards.

During a few visits to Hunter Bread — a cozy bakery that Carlberg and his partner Shannon Malone opened in Bicton in early July — I had the chance to sample an assortment of baked goods and was very impressed. Among them: a chewy, 24-hour fermented sourdough, shaped into a variety of loaves ranging from large “super long” to delicate rolls, sold by the piece as well as a party-sized “wheel” containing 36 small ones. breads; a dense and deliciously filling wholemeal and nut bread; and breads baked with spelled and khorasan, some of the alternative wheats Carlberg sources from Wholegrain Milling, a sustainable stone-ground flour mill in New South Wales. Carlberg doesn’t get these flours (only) for the taste – having worked with large-acreage grain growers, he also understands and respects the hardship growers face.

“I thought they [farmers] I had it hard and I had it easy,” says Carlberg when he is finally happy to set a record. Although Carlberg’s self-mockery speaks to his humble and low-key nature, the recognition somewhat downplays his accomplishments. As well as his grain-based pilgrimage through the New South Wales wheat belt, our man also spent three years at legendary Sydney bakery Iggy’s Bread after discovering his loaves while washing dishes in a pub run by Sydney’s leader and former My kitchen rules judge, Colin Fassnidge. “In Sydney, everyone talks about other places because it’s so competitive. No one had a bad thing to say about Iggy’s.”

While Carlberg brings his flour whisperer skills (and his name) to Hunter Bread, he’s only half the story. A former Aesop store manager and sustainable fashion designer, Malone is a warm, smiling presence at the counter and the kind of person any retail business would want to represent them. The decision to relocate to the Bicton Central mall – which also recently housed Thai restaurant Rym Tarng – is particularly significant for Malone, who grew up a few blocks away.

“We’re a community bakery and neighborhood store,” says Malone. “It would be different if we just wrapped bread and hid behind it. But we are really vulnerable and also put all our personality into it. We are in an old-fashioned center where you pick up your meat, vegetables and bread. This is the dream. It’s like a country town center near Fremantle.

Personal relationships are ubiquitous in Hunter Bread’s story. Every day, Malone bakes a few cakes she loves – her chocolate and almond number is glorious and pairs well with the filter coffee from the bakery – to sell later that day or for the next morning. Malone’s father-in-law helped transform the old Brumby’s store into a sparse, stripped-down storefront where flour and wood dominate (many bowls, boards and wooden details were dropped off at the store by Carlberg’s grandmother ). The yuzu jam that’s paired with goat cheese and tucked into one of those aforementioned buns is made with citrus fruits grown by Carlberg’s father. Natasha Brownfield, friend and town baker, sometimes comes along to help out, but otherwise it’s just Carlberg and Malone who run things and listen to guests.

“I think it’s about responding to what people want and trying to fit into their routine and what they’re doing,” says Carlberg. “We understand that we’re probably more expensive than other breads, but we just want to be available and responsive to what people want.”

Malone shares Carlberg’s sentiments about community, as well as bread being their priority, and the value of keeping things low key.

“When we were talking about signage, we realized there was no point in having a big sign [above the shop] if the people who were on the ground had already noticed us,” she says. “If the bread isn’t good for them, what’s the point of attracting more people? The bread should speak for itself.

hunter’s bread
Store 14/258 Canning Hwy, Bicton

Thu & Fri 7am-3pm
Sat & Sun 7.30am–3pm



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