Copa’s Queen has a social conscience
A humble beachside bakery is the first impression of Burnt Honey on the Central Coast’s Copacabana Beach. If you want to have your cake and eat it knowing that it has been made in the most ethical way possible – this is the bakery for you.
Hayley Thorncraft and Joanna Fairall are the conscious-minded individuals behind this establishment we did not know we KNEADed (little baker’s pun… I’ll stop now). From the start of our chat Hayley, who is the Head Baker and author of recipe book Cake Grrl Homesick Cakes, outlines...
“We want to produce the best coffee, pastry & food in the most ethical way”
and they are delivering on this ethos. Hayley is humble of the success of Burnt Honey Bakery that is yet to celebrate its first anniversary.
From the outset, Burnt Honey Bakery opened with some sustainable practices that have become standard in day-to-day operations. Let’s start with no takeaway cups - it’s a BYO cup for your morning brew; if you don’t have your own you can buy a clay cup or borrow a mug and stroll across to the beach (remember to return the borrowed mugs when you are done!).
The brew being served is from Little Italy Roasters and it's strong and rich in flavour.
When we say the team at Burnt Honey are informed, we mean it. It’s a rare day when you can have an in-depth conversation about mylk and milk options being served. The choice to serve oat mylk as the non-dairy option instead of soy has led to many a discussion across the coffee machine and Jo will be happy to discuss this at length with you.
The ethical principles on sourcing produce really shine in the baking; this is a meat-free bakery and the only animal products are milk and eggs. The milk is single source from Little Big Dairy in Dubbo, NSW, and every bottle can be traced back to the specific farm and cow that produced it.
Hayley explains “we are really picky about the produce we work with – the retail eggs are from Full Circle Farm and the eggs in the pastry come from the Egg Lady. We work with partners because we know the product they supply is really traceable and we are happy with the process.”
“We want to make as much vegan produce as we can, we absolutely support people not consuming dairy and eggs” Hayley explains as we start speaking about the success Burnt Honey Bakery has had with their vegan options. The vegan “Choc-chip Rye Cookie is on par with any choc-chip cookie out there” which Hayley has in the bakery window every day as it is a customer best seller.
The extent of the vegan menu has hit a slight bump which Hayley hopes to find a solution to soon as she was really creating some tasty vegan options. Gluten-free treats are on offer with the Lemon Almond Burnt Butter Cakes being moreish, and the variety of savoury breads are extensive for those with dietary requirements.
No dietary requirements – brilliant, do we have something special for you. On the weekend is when you can get their signature pastry Hayley explains the “Copa Queen, is layers of pastry and butter with raw sugar in there, so it has a really crunchy crust and gooey middle. People ask if there is a filling - there isn’t – it’s just the way it bakes and all melts together”.
She learnt the art of this pastry whilst working with Dominique Ansel Bakery in London and has tweaked the recipe to make it Burnt Honey's own version.
On any day of the week you may get something special on the menu as it is a constant rotation, you can see this specifically on their website where you can order certain treats on particular days. Knowing how in-demand their bakery window can be, the online ordering has become a real feature allowing customers to click and collect.
All their bread options are available online and in the shop. Burnt Honey’s Sourdoughs are made in a loaf tin giving the illusion of a more traditional white bread. Do not be fooled though - these are still a sourdough that delivers a light fluffy centre, thin external crust and is good for your stomach. Hayley likes that it is an approachable sourdough for someone new to the variety of bread.
At heart Burnt Honey Bakery is a traditional bakery with modern ethics, what really draws on the nostalgia is that you can order a classic birthday cake and have hand-written messages on top (for inspiration check out their Instagram page!) and at the same time know that Hayley and Jo are steadfast when they say “we have put a lot of energy into the products we produce and are not interested in taking short cuts if it means it is going to compromise the integrity of the end product”
Finally a true version of guilt-free cake we can get around!