Best slice of family life

Family run: Kristy Luigi Papagni are the driving force behind Bacco’s Bakery in Wickham. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.BACCO’S Bakeries is not your typical bakery.

It doesn’t open on weekends, which has left a few customers a little exasperated, laughs Kristy Papagni, who with Italian husband Luigi runs the Fleming Street, Wickham business.

“Australians have an idea that they can buy good bread on a Saturday and Sunday but family is important to us and we just want to spend time together,” says mother-of-two Kristy, who metLuigibackpacking close to two decades ago before they started a family. “That’s just the way it is. We are not the sort of people who go with the current, if we were we wouldn’thavestarted this.”

Though open Monday to Friday to the public, Bacco’s is a wholesale bakerwhose success centres on its popular Bacco’s Leaves –a thin and crunchy crispbread made from local flour and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and sprinkled with sea salt.

Artisan touch: Bacco’s Bakeeries baker Jo Marden, with some “Twiggies” or grissini. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

The Leaves were inspired by a conversation the Papagnis had with a shop owner in inner Sydney, where they lived after returning from a stint in Italy. At the time, they were supplying EVOO from Luigi’s home town of Bisceglie, in Puglia, to Sydney restaurateurs including Neil Perry and Matt Moran. But the cost of living in Sydneysaw them load up their van with their oil stash and head to Mornington Peninsula.

After perfecting their Leaves they eventually drove up the coast andsettled on the small town of Murrurundi, close to family, and openedtheir first bakery. Theygrew their businessbefore realising along-held plan of relocating to seaside Newcastle in late 2017 to open their second bakery.

Bacco’s naturally sells mostly Italian artisan bakery products including hand-made taralli, grissini and its leaves –all made by Luigi and his largely female bakers.

“We do like things to behigh quality and we try and source everything local –our flour is single origin and we buy it from a guy who used to be a farmer,” says Kristy.

Bacco’ssells bread one day a week, usually Fridays, including focaccia and ciabatta, and is selling and taking orders for hot cross buns in the lead up to Easter.

Its products are sold in most States.

Where it all started: Bacco’s Leaves are the popular crispbread that are the most popular product at Baccho’s Bakery. Picture: Jonathan Carroll