After blazing a pastry-fuelled trail through Auckland, Michelle Blyth set her sights on Melbourne’s café scene. A series of highly successful ventures has led her full circle and back to what she loves most, satisfying a city’s sweet tooth.
While Michelle boasts an impressive 30 years of experience in the baking and café scene in New Zealand and Australia, her love of baking can be traced right back to childhood days rummaging through her grandmother’s freezer full of homebaked delights. It’s the updated spin on these tried and true family favourites that sets Cremorne Street Bakers apart.
Michelle opened Rocket Kitchen in the mid-90s in Auckland and with its two retail stores and wholesale business; it quickly became the city’s premier boutique cake company. That was the winning recipe Michelle brought with her when she moved to Melbourne and opened Replete Providore with sister, Justine.
Melburnians mourned the café’s closure when Michelle relocated to Sydney, but rejoiced when she and Justine again teamed up to open The Counter. And with the mouth-watering cakes, slices and biscuits in constant demand, the duo dreamed up Cremorne Street Bakers to bring a bit of their homebaked magic to cafés, restaurants and stores across Melbourne and beyond.
When it comes to baked goods, Justine Curtis has some sweet credentials. The New Zealand native developed her knack for knowing how to tempt tastebuds in her sister Michelle's successful Rocket Kitchen in Auckland. After moving to Melbourne in the early 2000s, she and Michelle spied a gap in the local market for unpretentious food that mixed nostalgia with contemporary touches, made with the best local ingredients. This naturally led to Replete Providore.
Replete was only supposed to last for a couple of years, but business boomed. Starting the day any other way than with a Replete breakfast was out of the question, and after taking out the title for Best Breakfast in the Restaurant and Catering Awards for three years in a row (not to mention being crowned Best Brownie in The Age Cheap Eats), Replete finally closed its doors after almost seven years, leaving a hole in the Melbourne café scene.
When Michelle moved back to Melbourne after her stint in Sydney, the savvy sisters brightened up Auburn Road with The Counter and again, what started small quickly expanded. Justine took charge of the front-of-house as The Counter outgrew its tiny pastry section. As demand grew, so did the idea for Cremorne Street Bakers. And with a list of cafés, restaurants and stores lining up to stock Cremorne Street Bakes’ wares, it’s clear that Melbourne has a taste for Justine and Michelle’s know-how.