It’s a mystery how Alicia Wanner manages to concentrate on forming her delicious loaves with the stunning view of the majestic Clyde River through the kitchen window. The clean smell of sourdough greets you as you enter her well-ordered bakery, neat rows of bread tins ready for today’s batch of fruited bread.
Alicia started baking to complement the wholefoods shop and café that she jointly ran in Mogo. “There weren’t any local products that suited our needs at the time,” said Alicia. “There was nothing for it but to learn to make good sourdough by myself. I did lots of research, lots of YouTube and made lots of mistakes.”
Moving the enterprise to home was easier than she expected, and her business hasn’t looked back. She supplies some cafés with her fruit loaf but the vast majority of her sales are through markets. She can turn out up to 200 loaves in a session in the busy season.
Thanks to the convenient spacing of local markets she is able to start her week on Monday baking for the Tuesday SAGE Farmers Market, then Thursday at Ulladulla for the Gaia Farmers Market and finally Moruya Country Market on Saturday.
Alicia likes the afternoon markets as she can bake in the morning (without getting up at 3am) and have really fresh loaves for her loyal customers. The mainstays of her stall on Tuesday are her wholemeal, rye, white, spelt and fruited sourdough.
As well as being a full time baker, Alicia is also the captain of the Runnyford Rural Fire Service, a role she loves. At the moment if there is a call out, she has to attend as there are no other suitably trained people.
The garden around the house is also home to free range chickens, three dogs, and Alicia is experimenting with a small strawberry growing set-up. “Don’t be surprised if you see some punnets of strawberries on the stall when they are in season.”