It is the second longest running bakery in South Australia, second only to baking institution Balfours. Now, after reaching the epic milestone of 150 years in business, Port Adelaide’s Mayfair Bakery and Patisserie has finally celebrated the anniversary with a big bash.
With COVID restrictions in place, the event was an intimate celebration of 100, including dignitaries, staff, wholesale customers – Mayfair supply to over a hundred cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels – and suppliers.
Owner Phil Donnelly said everyone in attendance had a great time reminiscing about the days gone by at Mayfair, as well as celebrating the new lease on life it has been given since he purchased the business in 2014.
“The venue we held it at was incredible; it’s called Folklore Café and it’s literally on top of the river, all glass sides,” Phil said.
In 2020 Phil made a call out for anyone with photos or stories from Mayfair to come forward, and says the response was great.
“Lots of people made contact,” he said.
“Lots of stories were heard from people that worked there in the ‘60s to people whose parents had their wedding cake and grandparents who had their 10th birthday cake [made by Mayfair]… these are all people in their 90s.”
The Governor of South Australia, Hieu Van Le, revealed the official 150th Anniversary plaque which will be mounted on the wall of the historical bakery, and Shadow Deputy Premier Susan Close and Port Adelaide Mayor Claire Boan were also in attendance.
“We had a great showcase of our customers and our suppliers,” Phil said.
Phil purchase Mayfair in 2014 with his mum and dad, following the success of his first business, The Rolling Pin Bakery-Patisserie, which opened in 2013.
“After the success of that one we needed to expand and found Mayfair for sale, and it’s been all go since – we haven’t stopped,” he said.
“I took the core values and what has ingrained Mayfair for so long, and I brought our more French-Modern Australian food to the bakery.
“We did reinvent a lot of the old products, and have taken some of those old favourites and reinvented them in a modern way to appeal to that newer age group but still carry some of the heritage value.
“We don’t do lamingtons, and we’ve changed the doughnuts to a vegan doughnut, they [Mayfair] were famous for their honey biscuits, so we’ve turned those into a honey biscuit Monte Carlo with a crème patissiere and a handmade filling.”
Although these changes were hard to accept for many long-time customers, Phil said they were essential for the survival of Mayfair.
“The business was losing market and if we hadn’t bought it, they were about to close, and not a lot of people fully appreciate that,” he said.
“The bakery needed to have fresh life. What they were doing hadn’t really much changed since the ‘60s.
“The people of Port Adelaide are pretty loyal and there are people still calling up for old favourites, and we will continue to release those, but with our own flavour and spin on them.”
Looking to the future, Phil said that on top of rebranding and launching a new website, they are going through the process of getting nutritional panelling and labelling to get Mayfair’s famous gluten-free baked cheesecakes into boutique supermarkets, “so you’ll be able to taste a bit of Port Adelaide soon, hopefully wherever you are.”