Life & Style

Newcastle’s doughnut legend

It’s that time again when we’ll be taking you behind the scenes with our favourite local business owners and creatives to find out where they go to eat, what playlist they’re listening to, where they take their out-of-town friends, and ultimately, what makes them tick.

For our 7th instalment of SPILL, we’re catching up with Newcastle’s very own doughnut legend, Anna Farthing, of The Junction-based Doughheads.

spill anna farthing doughheads the junction newcastle nsw
Anna Farthing

Where are you from originally? 

The Mid-North Coast, from a little town called Johns River.

What made you decide to make Newcastle home? 

I moved here with my partner for his work. We were just 18 with our newborn baby (who went on to name Doughheads when he was 11yrs old).

Do you consider yourself more of an early bird or a night owl?

A little bit of both. It depends on what I've got going on in my life at the time!

What’s your morning ritual?

It changes depending on the season of life. But now, I usually wake up at 6:15 each morning and take my dog for a walk. Then it's full of getting kids to school and getting ready for work. And coffee. Lots of coffee.

Where’s your late-night hangout spot?

Is it terrible if I say my lounge? Haha. At the moment, I'm usually in bed by 9.30pm! What can I say, running a small business is a glamorous life.

What’s your coffee order?

Small, double-shot flat white.

Speaking of coffee, which local venue knows your order off by heart?

Well, it would be amiss not to say I own a coffee shop and we serve locally roasted, Floozy Coffee. So, work, most of the time. However, if I'm not at work for the day, I usually head to Merewether local, Akuna.

Tell me about your biggest career highlight…

Doughheads had their 9th birthday this year. We've made it from a market stall to a well-known, local business that has survived the rollercoaster of growth, change, pandemic, staff shortages, and economic downturn.

As a small business owner, with no formal qualifications, juggling four kids, I think that's a big highlight. But I guess really, what has kept me going through those nine years is the joy that I get to bring to our community in Newcastle, every single day.

In your spare time, what are your THREE top favourite things to do in Newcastle?

1. Beach. In summer, when I'm not working, I'm usually at the beach.

2. Then eat! We are so lucky to have so much variety to choose from in venues in Newcastle and I LOVE to eat out, anywhere and everywhere! Experiencing someone else’s passion for food is one of my favourite things in life.

3. Would have to be walking. I usually walk along the beach every morning, it's amazing.

If you wanted to dazzle your out-of-town friends and family, where would you take them?

Well, look, if you didn't visit Doughheads, did you even really come to Newcastle? But then, the Anzac Walk is pretty stunning and King Edward Park for a picnic is a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

On the daily, what’s guaranteed to make you smile?

Cliché, I know, but my kids. 2 of them have moved out of home and the other 2 are growing up, so it's a lot of fun to interact with them as friends! Then I'd have to say the funny reels my partner usually sends me on the daily.

What do you NEVER leave the house without?

My phone and insulin. Fun fact, I was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic just over 2 years ago! So, I can't live without my insulin injections. And of course, as a small business owner and mum, there is always someone texting or calling, or some notification going off on my phone.

We’re all about keeping it local here at HUNTERhunter – tell me THREE of your favourite local businesses that you live and breathe by and why you couldn’t live without them…

HUNTERhunter to start with – otherwise, how would I know what was going on in Newcastle and surrounds?!

Then I'd have to say Napoli, their Truffle Gnocchi is my GO-TO ‘treat’ when I've had a long week!

And then the Ori Hotel – live music and pizza on a Sunday afternoon never goes astray!

What are you reading / watching / listening to now?

I'm watching Workin’ Moms on Netflix – again, cliché, but it's just too relatable!

If you’re needing a short break away from Newcastle, where do you go and why?

Anywhere! I'll go camping, hiking, plane trip, road trip, it doesn't matter! I love to get away for a weekend and explore. The only place I don't want to go is to the same place twice.

What’s your go-to playlist?

I'm not a huge music buff, but 90's punk rock is always fun!

What would you like to see more of in Newcastle?

Businesses thriving! I've seen such a huge change in the business world over the 10 years I've been involved and it’s a tough gig. So, I'd love to see more people make that leap into small business and put their talents out there.

Lucky last – who would you recommend we interview next for SPILL?

Kmac from Floozy Coffee – another incredible local businesswoman in Newcastle following her passion.