Wholegreen Bakery CBD
The CBD outpost of Waverley's beloved 100-percent gluten-free bakery has bigger digs and a bigger menu.
Gone are the days when coeliacs and gluten-intolerant Sydneysiders had to live without buttery croissants, fresh loaves of sourdough, sausage rolls and eclairs. And it's all thanks to 100-percent gluten-free cafe Wholegreen Bakery.
Opening its first permanent venue in Waverley last year, the bakery sells its goods outside of the eastern suburbs, too — including at some cafes, and at Carriageworks Farmers Market and the North Sydney Produce Market — but most gluten-free Sydneysiders make the journey to the east to pick up a haul.
As of March 2020, though, they can also load up on their lunch break, with Wholegreen opening a second outpost in the CBD. To accommodate the crowds, the Clarence Street cafe is much bigger than its Waverley predecessor, with room for 60 diners. And it's baking bread and pastries each morning (six days a week) — unlike at Waverley, where some treats are only available on weekends. This means you can always get your hands on one of Wholegreen's golden croissants, pain au chocolats and loaves of sourdough to take home.
That sourdough is made from organic quinoa, sunflower oil and organic brown rice syrup. Choose between plain, seeded, olive and rosemary, fruit (figs, raisins and orange) or activated charcoal and turmeric. Baguettes and dinner rolls are also up for grabs. Then there's the wide range of cakes and sweets, including dark chocolate and beetroot cake, espresso or caramel eclairs, lemon tarts, chai spiced carrot cake, banana bread and frangipane tarts. Plus dairy-free, vegan and sugar-free options.
The lunchtime crowd can also tuck into spinach, silverbeet and feta pasties; ham and cheese croissants; slow-cooked beef and onion pies; seasonal veggie frittata; and quiche with smoky bacon, cheddar and caramelised onions. The cafe is licensed, too, so a cheeky lunchtime bevvie is on the menu — in the form of gluten-free wine and beer, of course.
Cherie Lyden, Wholegreen's owner, got into gluten-free when her daughter was diagnosed as coeliac and needed to eliminate gluten from her diet. She quickly found she was "disappointed with what was available on the market" and, in an effort to lift the — sometime dismal — standards of gluten-free products, she started doing what no one else was doing at the time: making actually good gluten-free bread. She's operated the wholesale side of the business for six years now, and the Waverley cafe for four.
Both cafes are 100 percent gluten-free — which is important because those that suffer from coeliac disease have a sensitive reaction to even a small trace of gluten — and are currently in the process of getting accreditation from Coeliac Australia.
Images: Leigh Griffiths