A dream to bake quality products for Dubbo residents started with a bag of flour in 1918 when Bill, Robert and John Stevenson’s grandfather Francis Oswald ‘Aussie’ Stevenson started a small bakery in Tooraweenah.
Ninety-five years later the Stevenson family remains an iconic part of the baking industry in central west NSW and continues to offer its customers more variety and choice of freshly baked local products.
Aussie Stevenson delivered his baked goods from his bakery, on a horse and cart each day to local residents.He built a successful business to support his wife and six children and in 1923 he moved to Dubbo to supply his baked goods to a larger market. He purchased a small a shop in Macquarie Street from Phillip Magner Kieler that the Sergeant family had built in the 1880s and used as tea rooms through the turn of the century. He called it Stevenson’s Bakery and developed a large network of customers who continued to support the bakery, he then moved to Talbragar Street near the Civic Hotel in 1933, and moved again further west along Talbragar Street next to the Pastoral Hotel. Aussie worked hard to ensure the people of Dubbo had freshly baked goods to eat until 1944 when he sold the bakery to his children Bob and Audrey, and Audrey’s husband Jack Goss. Bob, Audrey and Jack retained the bakery’s name and operated it until 1947 when Audrey and Jack bought Bob’s share of the business and started trading under J.E and A.L Goss.
The business became known as Goss’s bakery for the next 40 years and continued to be a family affair with Audrey’s brothers Doug and John Stevenson working in the business.Later, Audrey and Jack’s children Ted, Helen and John also became involved in the business.In 1960 Audrey’s brother John Stevenson fell in love with Christina, who had started work at the bakery. She was the daughter of another Dubbo baker Nick Kosseris. John and Christina married in 1965 and it was inevitable that their children Bill, Robert and John would learn about the art of baking from a young age. Nick would take Bill and Robert to the bakery on weekends to help him, and they would also learn from their father. When Bill left school he went to work fulltime with his father at South Dubbo Bakery in Boundary Road. This gave Bill the opportunity to undertake a baking apprenticeship, and his brothers a chance to gain experience after school, on weekends and during school holidays. Their strength was tested when Nick their grandfather died on January 2, 1982 and their father died from a heart attack on December 26 the same year. Bill was 16, Robert was 15 and John was only 10 at the time.
They had always thought they would follow their father’s footsteps and after his death this goal became concreted in their minds. Their father’s words that ‘once the flour gets into your veins it is always there’ has stayed in their minds and urged them to strive further. In 1990 Bill, Robert and John and their wives Carol, Wendy and Kelly purchased the Village Hot Bake in Dubbo and subsequently guttered the building to make way for significant renovations to create the city’s first bakery café which was officially opened in 1998. Village Bakery Café is a very popular country bakery with residents and travelers alike which trades seven days a week and offers a range of freshly baked treats like award winning gourmet pies, breads, cakes, sandwiches, breakfast and espresso coffees.
As the demand for their fresh baked products grew the need arose for the brothers to split up the retail and wholesale business and in 2001 they established the Earlyrise Baking Company located in Dubbo, where more than 250 delicious varieties of products are made daily. Over two decades the brothers have grown the business greatly which now distributes their bakery products right across rural, regional and metropolitan NSW, ACT and Queensland supplying to shops, cafes and supermarkets. They also operate Roberts Bakery in Orange another well-known country bakery and in the group employ a staff of 170. When other major bread manufacturers are closing down their manufacturing plants in regional areas, Earlyrise Baking Co are staying true to their roots and tradition baking the freshest bread in the country for country towns and communities.
They deliver their fresh baked goods daily to Dubbo, Nyngan, Cobar, Bourke, Lightning Ridge, Coonamble, Coolah, Orange and all towns in between. The bakery operation Ingredients are sourced from Australian farmers. Flour and canola that is grown by local farmers around the Central West, Parkes, Forbes, Trangie, Nyngan and Narromine, eggs that are laid at Molong, and beef that has been bred throughout the areas they distribute to. Using the highest quality ingredients, combined with secret traditional Stevenson family recipes that have been handed down through generations, has seen the business win more than 150 awards for their products.
They were the first bakery to win the National Great Aussie Meat Pie Competition twice (Overall Champion 2003 - 2005), and also won the 2007 That’s Life Inaugural Great Aussie Pie Contest and have received numerous gold, silver and bronze medals in national competitions. The bakery recently won Dubbos most outstanding business, taking out the Gold Rhino award 2013. The Stevenson Brothers are proud to be regional country bakers born and bred in the country and remain committed to providing regional communities with the freshest products daily. The bakery has now entered its fourth-generation and with tradition the brother’s children are now molding careers in the family baking business, this will ensure that your daily bread from the Stevenson family to yours will remain well into the future.
Earlyrise Baking Company’s freshly baked Super Soft, Todays and Harvest Mill bread ranges, Village Premium pies and Sweet Affair cake lines are available in a store near you.