You can smell the heavenly aroma of freshly baked bread just by looking at Starta Bread Kitchen & Shop. Discover how this bakery is giving customers a feel for what it takes to make some of Wellington’s most sought-after bread
The interior of Starta Bread Kitchen & Shop is as good as its bread
Owner and baker Catherine Adams worked with George MacLeod-Whiting of Proffer on Starta Bread Kitchen & Shop to engage customers in the age-old art of making bread. “Our intention is to stimulate the senses on a number of levels,” says Adams, of the recently opened shop that produces the Wellington Sourdough range of breads.
What did you set out to achieve?
CATHERINE ADAMS: Our main objective was functionality. The wood is sustainable American cedar – it has antibacterial properties and a great aroma, and works well with the tones of our bread. Proffer’s attention to detail and their ability to work with a number of materials, in particular, wood, was the catalyst for the timber feature wall. It contrasts well with the raw concrete of the existing building, giving an ethereal beauty to the space. A few Spanish floor tiles were used to add a quirky design element. The white marble counter and shaping benches are an aspirational element – it helps us to strive for better, whether that’s in each loaf
we shape or the service we give.
What does the design achieve?
Starta is a destination and hub for Wellington Sourdough, while also being a haven. There’s a bit of natural light but the bunker-like space is designed to create a sanctuary. On a practical level, fluctuations in temperature and humidity are minimal.
Tell us about the hopper room.
The majority of customers look right when they walk into a retail space and we wanted this to be relevant and experiential. The wall dispensers contain the eight seeds and grains in our ‘No 3’ loaf. It was important that sight lines were considered and people could catch glimpses of the sourdough-making process, whether that be sitting at the table watching loaves come out of the ovens, at the counter watching bread being shaped, or in the hopper room watching dough coming off the mixer.
Starta Bread Kitchen & Shop
175 Victoria St, Left Bank Lane, Wellington
Words by: Jessica-Belle Greer. Photography by: Thomas Seear-Budd