There was a changing of the guard in the Perth bread world at Christmas, when the Saraceni family turned off the giant ovens at its Vastese Bakery after almost six decades in business.
The North Perth institution was baking 20,000 loaves and more than 60,000 rolls a week at its peak, but found it hard to compete in the city’s increasingly crowded bread market.
“There’s been a lot of competition, plus our customer base – ethnics, that generation of migrants – have all passed away,” managing director Antonio Saraceni told ABC News, adding suburban bakeries now have to deal with the backlash from the anti-bread movement, and consumer demand for organic products using alternative ingredients such as quinoa.
Vastese Bakery was first established in 1958 to serve new Italian migrants with well-priced crusty white loaves. But Antonio said bread price wars between Coles and Woolworths killed business.
He also said strong players at the top-end of the bread market, such as Bread in Common and Chu Bakery, dominated artisan bread sales, leaving little room for small bakery businesses selling loafs for less than $5.