It’s always interesting asking local business operators how they ended up…
The Baker’s Coffee Shop is a wonderful surprise discretely located on the ground floor of the Collingwood Centre, 105 Collingwood Street. The award-winning bakery-cafe artisans hand-make and serve up traditional European pastries, sourdough bread, and classic euro-style espressos made from their special-origin hot-air-roasted coffee beans.
The quintessential Croissant aux Amandes (Almond Croissant) is hugely popular, as well as the heavenly selection of Pain au Chocolat, Pain au Raisin, Cinnamon Morning Bun and other sweet-brioches, savoury quiches and pastries, pizzetta and sandwiches, to list a few. While the bakery cafe is well known for some of the best Sourdough Bread in Nelson, the uniquely Hungarian Wheat n’ Rye Sourdough is a must to indulge fresh from the hot stone-hearth oven at 11:00am every Thursday.
The business was originally established by Hungarian immigrants and four years ago was sold to expat returnees and current owners David and Denise who, after travelling the globe and settling back here in Nelson, fell totally in love with this business.
‘We knew straight away after travelling extensively throughout Europe that The Baker’s Coffee Shop was something special and we recognised that the product offerings, atmosphere and old-world charm are classically European and a must to preserve’.
David’s family has a history in baking, and in keeping with tradition, The Baker’s Coffee shop was an opportunity not to pass. ‘We trade-marked the name and added our tagline: ‘Cafeteria – Patisserie – Boulangerie because we felt that our offerings were more representative of the broader European bakery-cafe experience”, David says.
Although these words are French, and many of the delights are indeed traditional French-style pastries, David and Denise are well aware of the wider European context, especially the Ottoman influences of Eastern Europe. From time-to-time, the bakery will create something from elsewhere, such as German-style’ Stollen’ at Christmas time, Polish Beigels, and occasionally ‘Borek’ and ‘Civapi’ from the Balkans and ‘Karjalanpiirakoita’ from the Finnish-Russian border. The Baker’s Coffee Shop embraces the history and diversity that is representative of much of Europe. David and Denise have spent the past four years refining the bakery’s processes so that most of their team can now bake-off the selection of treats each day.
“We strive to have cross-functional team members capable of turning their hands to most areas, including both front-of-house as top-class Baristas as well as preparing and baking in the kitchen’ says Denise. “As well, both Dave and I share in the administrative and HR functions behind the scenes”.
The Bakery-cafe’s shelves are adorned with artisanally hand-made European style pastries, cakes, pains, croissants and baguettes. Also, with a few freshly made delicious sandwiches and salads, it is the perfect spot to come and enjoy a wonderful morning or lunch or afternoon tea. The Baker’s Coffee Shop looks inviting with a mosaic of tiles originally from Hungary, a beautiful dark wooden floor with classic baroque-style tables and chairs. The cafe is stylishly decorated with gold embellishments and a touch of an industrial feel. Even though it is not big, it still finds room for comfort in its small cosy corners, with the furniture creatively creeping into different angles and corners of the room. There are also several quiet spots outside on the courtyard for those who prefer.
David, Denise and the team all strive to uphold the integrity of their traditional European recipes as well as cultural-etiquette. Everything is passionately and lovingly hand-made-in-house using a selection of locally sourced and quality ingredients. Added to this is their determination to ensure every customer feels welcome and appreciated.
“We value the traditions and history of Europe and want to enable our customers to feel something special each and every time they visit us”, says David.
The Baker’s Coffee Shop in central Nelson has a truly European feel with respectful customer service and a delightful selection of hand-produced treats as well as heavenly coffees, teas and more. If you are after a unique cafe experience here in Nelson that takes you to another level, this is highly recommended.