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“Good local produce”
Review of Companion Bakery - CLOSED

Companion Bakery
Price range: $5 - $16
Cuisines: Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Outdoor Seating
Description: All of our food is made freshly in the bakery using locally grown flour ground at Callington Mill, located opposite the bakery. No pre-mixes or weird stuff. Graham the baker is usually available to show visitors around our wood-fired bakery. Please ask for a tour at the cafe counter. Companion Bakery was the only bakery finalist in this year's Delicious Produce Awards. Our sourdough has been celebrated by Gourmet Farmer and Poh's Kitchen. We make meat pies using local meats and our own recipe, not the premix goo used by other bakeries. Vegetarian options range from full meals to cakes, and vary from day to day depending on what is locally available. Please ask our chef Alison for her recommendation. Coffee? We aim to make the best in Tasmania, brewed from locally roasted Villino coffee beans. We love these beans because they are not over-roasted. If for some reason our barista gets it wrong, simply swap your brew for another.
Woking, England
Level 6 Contributor
165 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Good local produce”
Reviewed February 13, 2013

Excellent ice cream and good looking home baked produce, handy place to watch the world go by. Helpful staff. Could do to extend their hours.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank PW24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

19 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    7
    5
    4
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“REAL bread”
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Companion Bakery bakes REAL bread - woodfired organic sourdoughs. They have a good variety of breads depending on the season. The cafe provides tasty and nutritious meals made on-site from fresh ingredients. Certainly the best food on the Midlands Highway.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Kaaren5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elizabeth Town, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Dreadful service lets down a lovely little place”
Reviewed January 12, 2013

It's such a shame - this little bakery is gorgeous, the food is good, the "philosophy" (ie locally milled flour) is great - but the issue of the service really needs to be addressed. We had had a pleasant visit some months ago, but today we really were made to feel like an inconvenient imposition on the woman serving us. She was rude, unsmiling, unhelpful..... dreadful. We left feeling really angry and sorry that we'd spent our money there. I see that the owner has responded in defence of the staff below - I'd never wish for anybody to lose their job, but maybe other tasks could be found for people who clearly have no skills in customer service.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Lones7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GrahamPrichard, Owner at Companion Bakery, responded to this review, January 13, 2013
Hi.

I fully understand your frustration at not getting the service you expected. I am happy to hear that the food was great.

We have made lots of changes since the last bad review. The good reviews show most people are happy with the toilets, Villino coffee and (generally) the service.

The service issue that caused you frustration on Saturday morning concerns sit down vs takeaway prices. You are not the only person that queries why it costs more to sit down with a pie (plus salad and chutney).

Please let me explain how this works, using a pie as an example...

1. Companion Bakery make everything from scratch (except for our butter croisants). We use the highest quality ingredients we can get our hands on. Our pies, with local meat, fresh herbs and a simple oil or butter pastry using local organic flour, cost at least $4.00 to make. We sell them takeaway for $6.90 (margin of $2.90)

2. A 'conventional' bakery or cafe pays 60 cents each for a pie, either frozen or using a 'flavour enhancing' pie mix and disgusting margarine pastry. They sell them takeaway for $5.00 (margin $4.40).

3. The conventional bakery or cafe does not care if you sit down or takeaway because they are making a large margin regardless.

4. Companion Bakery and other places that actually care about the food they serve do not make enough margin on takeaway to make the business viable.

A takeaway item from our bakery is actually a 'gift' to you...by the time we take out our costs we are lucky to break even. If we were serious operators we would charge what the item is worth for take-away, similar to sit-down.

5. We rely on people to sit down and enjoy the value-added meals...quality local food made by the people that serve them (our staff cook and serve).

6. When a customer gets frustrated with the staff (cook) about paying what the food is actually worth (the sit down price) the cook feels depressed and worthless and as the owner of Companion Bakery I understand their grumpy behaviour in these circumstances.

Of course you could not possibly have known all of this, so I also understand your frustration.

We operated Companion Bakery for two years on a flat-rate take-away / sit-down price and that was not viable. All country food establishments serving high quality food have the same problem.

Look around and almost every country food operator does it the easy way...unloading dodgy frozen goods from the back of a truck and re-heating it. They use pre-mixes and imitation products. Almost zero labour costs, poor quality food, big margins, unhealthy people.

I still can not understand how anyone could serve low quality food to people...no matter how much $ they make.

Higher margins on food means more $ and more time can be spent on labour for service (rather than labour to make amazing food). There are so many examples of this...from big franchises to smaller cafes.

Many of these places are essentially serving you the same food you buy in the frozen section of your supermarket...sad food served with a smile.

Our focus is good food because we want to please you. That is our expression of good service.

Graham
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great products including locally milled flour”
Reviewed December 16, 2012

In house made bakery products. Magnificent sour doughbread and they use the locally produced flour from the working wind mill across the road. Well worth a look and sample!!!

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank 96227
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Do yourself a favour - make this place part of your destination stop on your trip around Tassie”
Reviewed December 1, 2012

The Aussies say that the POMEs whinge but, reading some of these reviews, I would say that our antipodean cousins win on their reviews of the Companion Bakery!  We enjoyed the place so much on our trip around Tasmania going North that we planned our journey to stop there for another great meal there going south.

The team could not have been more helpful in their preparation of the food, their advice on what to eat, and making a picnic lunch for us to enjoy on Cradle Mountain. The cafe atmosphere was great, being both warm and friendly. The  'ploughman's
Iunch', muffins, pies, fudge and cheesecake all got top marks. The coffee was excellent - all five cups!

There is now a toilets/ facilities for use on site - used and confirmed.  But having travelled around Aus, including Tasmania, it's not the first cafe not to have facilities on site. Many beach cafes direct you to the public ones down the road/ in another building. And a stroll down the road makes for a good stretch to waken you up after a long drive.

And finally, the pricing point. Great value for money.  It's not the cheapest, but definitely in line with similar establishments around Australia.  Remember, you are not buying mass produced products, in low quality 'road side' establishment. These are fresh, artisan products made from finest ingredients. Places like the Companion Bakery are destination stops where people go for great food at a reasonable price to match the quality.

Overall, great job, well done! And for those reading this, do yourself a favor and make this a 'destination' stop on your trip around Tassie. You wouldn't be disappointed. I am just disappointed it's so far way otherwise I would come here for lunch regularly. My partner is somewhat happier - it means that I won't put on so many calories!

Thank you!

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank TheAmershanReviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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