There are no additives in the food baked at Stratford's newest bakery, just lots of fresh quality ingredients, say co-owners Graeme Cawsey and Cameron Thompson.

The duo are more than just business partners. Graeme is Cameron's uncle, and their shared passion for the culinary arts has led to them going into partnership together and opening The Baking Co on Regan Street.

The doors will open later this month, "when everything is exactly right and as we conceived it," says Cameron.

Just as good food takes time and thought to prepare, the same goes for a successful business, says Graeme.

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"So we aren't going to open too early. From day one, the customer experience will be exactly as we have planned."

Graeme has been cheffing since the mid 1980s and is currently working as a chef tutor at WITT (Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki) while Cameron has worked as a baker around New Zealand, including a recent stint at Public Catering Co in New Plymouth.

The pair are now bringing their combined expertise to Stratford, a place both are connected to. Cameron's mother was born in Stratford and he remembers visiting the town, while Graeme was born in New Plymouth and also visited Stratford.

Their focus, says Graeme, is on creating a customer-focused business giving value for money while not compromising on taste or quality.

Graeme says their passion for eliminating artificial additives from the food their bakery will sell comes from their understanding of the important relationship between the food we eat and how our body responds to it.

"Instead of using chemicals and e-numbers, we are using naturally sourced ingredients to create delicious flavours that are as good for your body as your tastebuds."

People with dietary needs such as gluten free or vegan will be able to enjoy a range of foods from the bakery, as he and Cameron use ingredients such as aquafaba, the left-over liquid from beans, as a protein fibre in some recipes.

"From that we can create aioli, meringues and mousses that taste great, but are also suitable for vegans."

The bakery is going to offer far more than just fresh-baked bread, says Cameron.
"We have a dining-in area as well as takeaway, and we will be offering barista-made drinks, as well as a wide range of other drinks such as malt shakes, as well as fresh salads, sandwiches, granola and plenty more."

Their experience, combined with contacts across the New Zealand culinary industry, means they are able to source what they consider to be the best of ingredients and produce to work with, says Graeme.

"Our customers will be able to enjoy fresh bratwurst or chorizo from Island Bay Butchery in Wellington to go with a bread roll or baguette, and everything will be freshly heated up or prepared by us as it is ordered."

There's no point in putting the effort into producing fresh food to then leave it in a pie warmer for hours, he says.

"We have invested in a turbo chef, which will allow us to heat food quickly while keeping all the flavour in the food." That flavour should take people back in time.

"While we are using some modern techniques and new protein sources such as aquafaba, with no additives the food we create will take you back in time to when your grandmother baked bread for the evening meal during the day. Everything we put out is made from scratch so everything will be fresh and flavourful."

The Baking Co opens soon. Like them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thebakingco.nz