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8 Historic Bakeries in South Australia

Home > Adelaide > Bakeries | Family | Lists | Lunch | Patisserie
by Graeme Fanning (subscribe)
I'm a tour guide who is passionate about South Australia and love to showcase to locals and visitors. Visit my facebook page at www.facebook.com/Down-to-Earth-Tours-1491827191071798/
Published January 22nd 2022
Historic Beckoning Bakeries
The sad passing of one of South Australia's iconic bakers, Vili last year (2021), made me think about the hard work and dedication that Vili and many other bakers have contributed to producing fine quality pastries over the years.

We are still fortunate that there are some historic bakeries still operating in South Australia today that have survived everything that has been thrown at them over the years, including the current pandemic.

Historic Bakery Equipment
Historic Bakery Equipment


Here are 8 historic bakeries and their stories of success.

1. Mayfair Bakery & Patisserie

Mayfair Bakery & Patisserie experienced a big celebration back in 2020 with their 150th year of operation, dating back to 1870. During that 150 years, the bakery has been around to witness many of South Australia's important parts of history as well as social change.

It all began back in 1870, when the soon to be elected Mayor of Port Adelaide, David Bower, commissioned and built what is now known as the Bower Buildings along St Vincent Street in Port Adelaide. Within this complex, Mayfair Bakery began its life. To think in the early years the bakery would have catered for and fed hungry sailors, sea captains and wharfies down at the Port.

Within the shop, there are numerous examples of historic baking equipment, as well as the history of the Port displayed around its walls. From the late 1950s, one family, the Schultz's, ran the bakery for some 56 years. Barrie has taken over the business from his father, Bert.

Baking has always been a specialised skill with much craftsmanship involved in every pastry produced but it would have been made even more difficult with some of the equipment used in the early years, compared to what is available today.

The Schultz's only faced one threat to their business - well-known department store John Martin's, during the 1960s, wanted to turn several shops along St Vincent Street, including the bakery, into a shopping complex. Fortunately, the Port Adelaide Council at that time rejected the plan.

Did you know that Mayfair Bakery was the first doughnut maker in South Australia in 1960? In 1972 Containerisation came into practice in Port Adelaide, leading to the loss of some 40,000 jobs over succeeding years. During 1972 alone, Mayfair lost something like 80% of its trade.

Fast forward to 2014 after the Schultz's had sold and the bakery reopened under its current owner, Philip Donnelly, who went about transforming this historic bakery into much more, with a French Patisserie style twist

The great news is if you like this style of bakery, Philip runs the Rolling Pin Bakery and Patisserie at Magill. Some of the mouth-watering products available at Mayfair include their Gluten-Free Cheesecakes, without the need for flour. Some of the flavours available are Blueberry and Vanilla Bean, Belgium White Chocolate and Raspberry, Kangaroo Island Honey and Roast Pistachio, as well as Riverland Apricot and Almond.

One of the big secrets to Mayfair's success has been their approach to fresh and seasonal ingredients, including flour milled locally and wattle seeds sourced and handpicked by traditional landowners in the State's mid-north.

From the traditional Australian pastries to the European inspired sweet range, Mayfair caters for all tastes and palates. Dietary needs are well and truly catered for, including Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo and Gluten-free options. For example at Christmas, Mayfair produced Vegan Christmas Puddings as well as Mince Pie Donuts.

If you've never ventured into Mayfair Bakery & Patisserie, you have been sorely missing out! You will find them at 156 St Vincent Street Port Adelaide and their hours of opening are from 6.00 am to 4.00 pm Monday to Friday and 7.30 am to 3.00 pm on Saturdays.

Mayfair Bakery Delights
Mayfair Bakery Delights


2. Kyton's Bakery

A mention of Kyton's Bakery and automatically you think of the good old Lamington, which they have produced since the 1980s, starting as fundraisers.

Kyton's dates right back to 1938 and was originally known as Avon Catering. The company has transformed over the years, taking on different roles including a catering company, running a successful stall in the Adelaide Central Market as well as Adelaide's premier fundraising bakery for over 30 years.

Kyton's now distribute to over 200 retail stores in Adelaide and is currently expanding interstate.

The current owners, Darren and Sharon Sutton have owned the company since 2003 and are as ever dedicated to the success of the high-quality products that roll out every day.

Back in 1982, when the idea of making Lamingtons as fundraisers occurred, kits were produced which comprised sheets of sponge, buckets of dip and coconut, together with instructions of how to assemble.

By 1998, the Lamington side of the business became so big that Kyton's left the market for a while (around a decade), concentrating exclusively on Kyton's Community Lamington drives.

Today fundraising still is very much an important part of the business, with information, regularly sent out to schools and community organisations regarding 7 easy steps on how to raise funds, products available etc.

Another integral part of the business, apart from the fund-raising is the wholesale side, selling to supermarkets and gourmet fruit and veg stores.

A mascot was then introduced by Darren and Sharon - Larry the Lamington - who comes to life at promotional venues, including the Royal Adelaide Show.

What range of products do Kyton's produce? Lamingtons, Apple Crumbles, Macadamia and Apricot Slices, Choc Chip Cookies, Macadamia White Bites, Butter Shortbread Fingers, as well as a diverse mix of pies and pasties. They also cater for seasonal items such as Hot Cross Buns at Easter and Christmas Puddings, Cakes and Mince Pies at Christmas.

There are also a range of gift hampers to choose from if you know of someone who has a love for locally sourced goodies!

Apart from the traditional Lamingtons, Kyton's also produce a Coffee flavoured variety, as well as Raspberry. Two new flavours were released in July 2021 to celebrate National Lamington Day, with "native" influences, namely Wattleseed and Chocolate as well as Lemon Myrtle and Coconut.

Having tried both the Coffee and Raspberry flavours I can vouch for their "yumminess".

The good news is that on weekdays the factory has a retail outlet shop open for you to stock up on all of their products and you will find them at 15 Lindsay Avenue, Edwardstown (tucked in behind Castle Plaza Shopping Centre). Normally the shop shuts down during the Summer period re-opening around Australia Day 9 am - 2 pm.

Larry the Lamington Kytons
Larry the Lamington Kytons


3. Vili's Family Bakery

The passing of Vili Milisits last year (2021) saw the end of a dedicated man who prided himself on producing top quality bakery items for the people of South Australia and beyond.

The story of how Vili started is quite remarkable in that his father with his family escaped Hungary during the Revolution in 1956, Vili's father having previously served time in a concentration camp due to his work with the Resistance movement during World War 2.

Both Vili's parents had been chefs in Hungary. Vili himself was aged 11, in 1960 when the family was reunited in Australia, and at aged 14, Vili got his first job in a bakery to help support his family.

Vili met who was to become his wife - Rosemary and they formed a strong partnership, opening their first continental cake shop in Adelaide in the latter part of the 1960s.

The bakery as we now know it today, transformed into a company well renowned for its high-quality ingredients and methods of preparation.

It was in 1995 that Vili first introduced a range of Halal products for export and had developed a new section of his bakery for that purpose and it was in that same year that the Asian export market opened up. In 2001 Vili's Bakery was exporting to 24 countries around the world.

Vili's today are famous for their iconic Aussie Pie with authentic lean beef and their flaky pastry.

The company is committed to Vili's philosophy when he began and is very much community-minded with their support of many South Australian regular calendar events throughout the year.

They employ around 360 staff and support around 57 charities.

Vili himself will be missed, with his hands-on approach to the business, including the many times he was rolling dough in the bakery, serving customers at lunchtime and his general friendly chats with his customers.

Apart from the original Cafe de Vili's at Mile End, there is also another 24/7 outlet on Main North Road at Gepps Cross.

As you would expect, Vili's Family Bakery have won many awards and accolades over the years and continue to set the standard for the food industry here in South Australia.

Vilis Pasty
Vilis Pasty


4. Perryman's Artisan Bakery

Even though the name attached today to the bakery - Perryman - stems from 1925, the bakery itself is much older, having been established way back in the early 1850s along Tynte Street, North Adelaide, where it still stands today. The business stayed in the Perryman family for 3 generations, until eventually sold off to its current owners in 2011.

The original Perryman influences on the business saw many traditional original German family recipes, which still continue today as baking is still currently on site, with locally sourced premium ingredients including free-range eggs, flour, vegetables, dairy and meats.

Perryman's is known today as an Artisan Bakery, priding themselves on their sourdough and ciabatta bread range. One of the great services Perryman's offer are celebration cakes, which can be personally inscribed with names and other messages, and include birthday cakes, engagement, wedding and other special occasions.

You get to choose from a light sponge, rich chocolate mud, banana or carrot cake decorated with 100% fresh cream and fruit and/or nuts. Having sampled one of their light sponges, they are truly delicious!

Some of Perryman's locally sourced ingredients include meat from the local butcher adjacent - Tynte Street Quality Meats, free-range eggs from Solar Eggs (Barossa and Adelaide Hills), Tweedvale Milk (family run business in the Adelaide Hills) and Laucke Flour.

Perryman's Pies and Pasties are second to none and at varying times during the course of the year, you will see a line up outside of the bakery, with everyone wanting to get their hands on the mouth-watering products within.

For dessert, the German influence is really evident with the display of Beestings filled with fresh cream. If you are looking for catering for that special celebration or event, then you should consider this bakery for its quality produce.

You will find Perryman's at 54 Tynte Street North Adelaide - a very small shop front but worth the wait! The hours of opening are Monday to Friday 8 am - 5 pm, Saturday 8.30 am - 3.30 pm and Sundays 9am - 3 pm excluding Public Holidays when they are closed.

Perryman's Celebration Cake
Perryman's Celebration Cake


5. Balfours

I didn't realise that Australia's oldest bakery established in Adelaide in 1853 is Balfours, who are still thriving today. It all began when Scottish immigrants, James Calder and his wife Margaret (nee Balfour) established their first bakery and shop at 130 Rundle Street in Adelaide. Six years later, Margaret's nephew, John Balfour, joined the firm as an apprentice, and in those days the company's speciality was biscuits.

In 1877, John Balfour became a partner in the company, renamed Calder & Balfour and after James Calder retired, expansion occurred of exports to other Australian colonies. Unfortunately, the depression during the 1890s took a heavy toll, with the company collapsing.

It was a case of "pick yourself up, dust yourself off" and Elizabeth Balfour (John's wife) opened a stylish cafe, cake shop and bakery in Rundle Street in 1894. By this time, the focus on solely biscuits production changed to cakes and pies. That cafe at 74 Rundle Street (later numbering changed to 72 Rundle Street) operated on that site for some 110 years.

More cafes were opened and a new bakery was built on Morphett Street in Adelaide. By the 1920s the three cafes operating around Adelaide were the places to be seen and a great meeting place. In 1924, the iconic Frog Cake, as we know it today, was invented. At that point, Balfours was still very much a family business run by Elizabeth's son, Jack and son in law Charles Wauchope. In 1924, the company changed its name to Balfour Wauchope Pty Ltd.

During the years of the Great Depression, leading into World War 2, the bakery had done its fair share of providing food to charity organisations as well as hampers being sent to soldiers on the front lines.

Post World War 2, the famed square pie was introduced for the first time (1958) by Elizabeth's grandson, Gordon Balfour and was said to have been produced and developed as a way of avoiding wasting pastry. The square pie still survives today as one of Balfour's famed products. The custard tart was re-introduced in 1963 and in 1967, the chocolate doughnut.

Balfours during the 1970s joined the technology age with the introduction of a computerised bakery management system powered by IBM. This would help improve the production and delivery of more than 600 different cakes, buns, bread, and pastry products to different markets, including small lunch shops, delis and canteens.

By the mid-1980s, Balfours had purchased a bakery in Melbourne, developed a new range of hot-cross buns and gained important contracts with Coles Melbourne stores. Somewhere around the vicinity of $1 million of sales through both Coles and Woolworths at that point in time.

Fast forward to 2001 and the State Government provided funds for Balfours to acquire a new factory at Dudley Park and is still the home for production of Balfours products in South Australia today.

With financial as well as other economic struggles, Balfours was bought by San Remo in 2008, which ensured the iconic brand and range of products would continue for all future generations to enjoy.

For those of you who are Vegan, you will be pleased to hear that Balfours has released its first plant-based No Meat pie (back in 2020) along with its other Vegan options. Others include Curried Lentil and Mushroom and Kale pies and Rosemary and Leek Savoury rolls.

Balfours these days supply their products to all major supermarkets as well as cafes dotted around Adelaide.

Balfours Square Pie
Balfours Square Pie



6. Price's Bakery

Think of Price's Bakery and you think of rural South Australia, as the first Price's was opened at Paskeville on the Yorke Peninsula back in 1876. Thomas Price, in between his farming and running a general store, also initiated the bakery. Kadina became a hub for the bakery being one of the early thriving towns in the area.

Various generations of the Price family ran the bakery for many years and fourth and fifth-generation family members are still involved in the business today.

Brothers Dene, Brian and Paul Price came up with the idea of Price's cafes, which are still dotted around Adelaide and parts of SA today.

The first Price's Fresh Bakery and Cafe opened up in 2004 at Port Road, Allenby Gardens and included a drive-through service, as well as dine-in facilities. The second cafe opened at Hillcrest, on North East Road in 2007 and the third, at Golden Grove in 2010.

As you can imagine, a big lineup of pastries are available including a Stockman Chunky Pie, Gourmet Chicken Sausage Roll as well as an Outback Pie.

Originating from the Yorke Peninsula, Prices also developed products that had been made for Cornish miners during the Copper discoveries in the 1840s, 1850s and 1860s. Cornish pasties were produced with a "crimped handle" so that miners with dirty hands would not contaminate the product.

Price's also sell a "Cousin Jack" slice as one of their desserts, a nickname which was given to Cornish miners in the Copper production years. This slice resembles and tastes like Rock Cakes.

Look for the purple and yellow logos around town.

Prices Fresh Bakery and Cafe
Prices Fresh Bakery and Cafe


7. Tip Top Bakery

Another of the well-known bakeries around Australia is Tip Top Bakery, formed in 1949 when George Weston (Australia) Pty Ltd acquired two Australian Bakeries, Sydney based Gartrell White Limited, the largest baker in Australia at that time, and Golden Crust Bakery in Adelaide, the largest baker in South Australia.

Today Tip Top is owned by Associated British Foods, a diversified international food, ingredients and retail group with well-known brands such as Ryvita, Ovaltine, Patak's, Twining Tea etc.

The factory here in South Australia is based out at Dry Creek in Adelaide. There are over 13 bakeries in Australia and New Zealand today. Iconic brands include Sunblest Bread, English Muffins, Golden Crumpets, Top Taste cake range and even Krummies (breadcrumbs).

Tip Top Delivery Truck
Tip Top Delivery Truck


8. Skala Artisan Bakery

Skala Artisan Bakery has been around since 1952 - in fact, this year they are celebrating their 70th year of operation.

Skala prides themselves on its artisan craftmanship when preparing its products for distribution. Their bread products include Artisan breads, Sourdoughs, Gourmet and Speciality bread, Rye bread as well as things like Tortillas and Pizza bases.

Their Artisan bread range includes Toscano rolls and baguettes, Turkish loaves, rolls and buns, Ciabatta Slipper loaves, Ciabatta Pugliese loaves, as well as Long John Loaves, which are bar-shaped yeast-risen pastry like a doughnut either coated with glaze or top-coated with cake icing.

Their gourmet and speciality bread include an 8-seed loaf.

The patisserie side of the business produces mouth-watering treats such as Twice baked Almond and Baci, and Cornetti and Chocolate Croissants. Along with these items are a full range of pies, pasties and sausage rolls together with all of the expected sweet pastries, including hand-made Brioche Donuts.

You will find Skala Bakeries at three locations in South Australia, 368 Magill Road, Kensington Park, Adelaide Central Market Shop and 9 West Beach Road, West Beach. You will need to check the website for opening hours for each location - www.skalabakery.com.au/retail

Baker's Flour Skala Bakery
Baker's Flour Skala Bakery


We are so fortunate in South Australia to have so many high-quality bakeries, many of them historic. The historic bakeries which are still operating today show that they must be doing something right to have lasted all these years.
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Why? A chance to discover some historic bakeries in SA
When: Any time of the year
Phone: 08 8447 5584
Where: Adelaide, South Australia
Cost: Dependent upon your selection of product
Your Comment
A good round up of history and bakeries. My pick of the bunch is Perryman's Artisan Bakery in North Adelaide. Their mini pasties and pies are the best.
by Jenny Esots (score: 3|1723) 119 days ago
Nothing tastes better than freshly baked anything. I can recall decades ago when it was illegal to bake bread on Sunday's in Victoria. Freshly baked bread on a Sunday seemed to taste extra good. Perhaps the forbidden fruit syndrome.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|4054) 121 days ago
My favourite when studying in North Adelaide was always the Bakery on O'Connell. Now I sometimes end up at Beck's Bakehouse after a beach walk.
by Jenny Prior (score: 3|4244) 114 days ago
Vilis are currently building some more shops in the northern suburbs.
by r.eng (score: 2|765) 101 days ago
History and baked goods. What a perfect combination
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|4674) 121 days ago
Price's Bakery was also found on Trimmer Pde at Seaton. Along time, before it ended up at Allenby Gardens.
by riley (score: 0|8) 118 days ago
History and baked goods. What a perfect combination
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|4674) 121 days ago
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