My parents live in Katikati, and we make semi-regular trips down to see them. This time, as we were driving out of Katikati (they live a few kilometres further on towards Tauranga) I noticed the sign in this picture. I pulled a quick U-turn and headed into the bakery to pick up some lunch!
The food in the non-gluten-free cabinet looked great, and although it was beautiful and presented well, the huge sign over the next cabinet was the one which attracted me! There was a big sign saying “Gluten free bread $8 per loaf or 3 for $22” and then I looked closer at the cabinet and realised that this was cabinet full of gluten-free food. The top shelf was three options of sweet thing – a citrus slice, caramel slice and apple pie! The next shelf was pies – bacon and egg, mince and cheese, strawberry. The third shelf was quiches, three types. And on the counter, a tub of mini-Christmas mince pies, half a dozen for $5.99.
Not only that, but on the cabinet, it very clearly stated that whilst the food in this cabinet was made of gluten-free ingredients, it was made in the same kitchen as items which contained gluten, and that whilst they made every effort to avoid mixing the two, they needed to make the public aware that there might be some cross-contamination.
The prices were reasonable, $4.50 for the pies, $3.50 for the slices. With some enthusiasm, I purchased a mince and cheese pie and a citrus slice to take away. I arrived at my parents’ house to discover that they had also bought a pie for me for lunch! Yay – two pies for two lunches 🙂
The food quality was very good. The slice had a little too much coconut for my liking, but then as I’ve discussed previously, I’m not a huge coconut fan. The pastry was excellent, the Christmas mince pie filling tasty and the pie filling meaty. As we drove out of Katikati, heading back to Auckland the next day, I had to stop at the bakery again and bought the caramel slice this time, and some muffins for my fellow travellers, which they assured me were absolutely delicious. The selection in the cabinet had changed today, so that’s nice as well – a bit of variety! There was also a cafe attached to the bakery which looked very nice. My stepmother tells me that you need to order the bread a day in advance.
I was very impressed generally with the Busy Baker. Not only was it very smart marketing – they’re on the main highway south from the Coromandel to Tauranga, State Highway 2, but they’re obviously aware of the growing trend for product which is not mass-produced and which offers a little more variety than the standard bakery. They’ve priced their products competitively. They have shown that they are aware of the dangers of cross-contamination for coeliac sufferers. So all-in-all, a big thumbs and if you’re stopping on the road towards Tauranga, or heading back up north from here, then I think it’s well worth stopping in!
A further quick note about Katikati – my stepmother tells me that at the other end of the town, there is a cafe called the Katz Pyjamas, which also has a good selection of gluten-free product. I’ll try that out on another trip. I’d also noticed that in Tauranga there was a gluten-free store as well, which I haven’t had a chance to look at.