Wild Soul Bakehouse

The NBIA recently had a chat with Emily and Dan Clark owners of Wild Soul Bakehouse about how they started their baking business, their point of difference, and supporting local firefighters.

Dan began his baking apprenticeship after finishing high school in 2004, at DJs bakery (now Wurlitzer) in Evans Head. He worked in various local bakeries but never really felt he was where he needed to be. This led to him try other jobs with the long-term goal of opening a bakery/cafe one day.

In May 2021, after the birth of their second child, Dan and Emily started Wild Soul Grazing Co. an online grazing box business. This little side hustle specialised in grazing board style gifts for family and friends, catering for small functions/events, attending local markets, and baking cookie boxes at Christmas time. After 18 months and various sleepless nights, Emily and Dan made the decision to expand, and Wild Soul Bakehouse was born.

Wild Soul Bakehouse is situated in the heart of Casino, New South Wales, and was fitted out within two empty shops on Centre Street by a team of family and friends. The business employs 16 staff with 2 qualified bakers who pride themselves on a delicious range of baked goods produced in-house daily.

Being a small-town bakehouse with many competitors their point of difference is that they make all their pies and sausage rolls (pastry and filling), inhouse from scratch. They are also the only bakery in town that bakes bread seven days a week. The range of baked goods at Wild Soul Bakehouse includes pies, sausage rolls, bread, slices, cookies, pastries, cakes, fresh salad sandwiches and rolls and more.

As a team the bakers value creativity and structure. Emily says, “There is so much room when it comes to new ideas and flavour combinations. Sometimes they work, and other times they don’t, but that’s the beautiful thing about baking. It’s poetic in a way.

“It’s such a science. It’s a constant experiment to keep the consistency the same and ensure that the product is consistent through structure.”

Sausage rolls are the number one seller at Wild Soul Bakehouse, with more than 10,000 being sold over a seven-month period. Their plain beef pie was awarded “Best Plain Beef Pie” in the 2023 Queensland Baking Show and is a popular seller along with their cheese & bacon pies. The business also received  silver and bronze awards in the Official Great Aussie Pie Competition. Their menu of baked goods has something for everyone, and even a weekly/fortnightly flavour special that gets everyone in town talking.

Dan and Emily believe supporting local is important and are proud of the relationship they have with Tweed Heads coffee supplier Ground Control. The business receives regular compliments about their coffee which is attributed to their amazing baristas, who are quite often the face of Wild Soul Bakehouse and responsible for the coffee that has the customers returning time and time again.

Wild Soul Bakehouse loves to support the community and is currently running a campaign to support the local fire department. The “Coffee for a Firey!” campaign encourages customers to donate a coffee or meal for a local fiery. They (firefighters) often come into the store on their way to work or on their way home. This pay it forward system means the business can give them a free coffee, pie, sausage roll, or sandwich and any money left over in the fund at the end of the season is donated to the local fire department.

Dan and Emily have put a lot of hard work into building their baking business which was recently endorsed in the Richmond Valley NSW Business Awards for receiving the Most Outstanding New Startup in 2023. The business has also received a nomination for the NSW Business Northern Rivers Most Outstanding New Startup 2023.

When asked for advice about the business they said, “Building a business is hard and running a baking business is even harder. A good relationship with your local council makes the planning process much easier, while offering the support you need to ask questions and learn. Keep your vision at the forefront of all your decisions and do your homework with suppliers. Support local (especially in small towns) it makes a difference!”

If you’re keen to check out this bustling business, Wild Soul Bakehouse is open seven days a week and can be found at 70 Centre Street, Casino NSW. Drop in for a coffee, we recommend trying either Thai Satay Chicken Pie or the Philly Cheesesteak Pie.

Website: www.wildsoulbakehouse.com.au/

NBIA members can register for the chance to be featured by clicking on the button and filling out the form. This is a great opportunity to receive a free write up for your business. We encourage you to register your bakery today.