We (Kevin and Esther Gilbert) started our Dunedin-based bakery lives in 2006 when we bought Charlotte Bakery.
Lievito Bakery, an outlet at the Otago Farmers’ Market, followed in late 2007, and Charlotte was sold in mid-2008 to allow us to concentrate on just one business.
Over the next four years, this continued to grow from Kevin doing everything by himself on a mostly part-time basis to employing a baker and part-time help to get through the increasing demand for the gluten free breads and associated products. The premises we operated out of became increasingly tight.
In 2011, the search began for new premises, and over a year later, the business moved to its current spot at 47 Otaki Street. The converted warehouse now sports a large bake house, with plenty of room to grow. The added advantage of the site is the showroom which has been turned into our fabulous shop stocking our bakery products as well as NZ produced specialty foods.
At the same time, we changed the company name to Gilbert’s Fine Food, to better encompass the wider-than-just-bakery-product range of goods we now offer for sale. The Lievito Bakery name continues for the gluten-free range of products.
Why we’re doing what we’re doing: because we believe in providing the Dunedin, and greater New Zealand market, with a range of superior eating experiences by making the best breads, pastries, pies, cakes and more we can.
We follow traditional methods and recipes wherever we can, and our inspiration comes from those (mainly European) bakers who went before us. We do however want to bring our products into the current century and adapt several of them to today’s tastes and preferences.
We want to be real in all we do and therefore only put real ingredients into our products. If an ingredient sounds like a chemistry lesson, we prefer not to use it.
We believe in using local, seasonal and free-range ingredients wherever possible.
We minimise sending waste to landfill where possible by avoiding excessive packaging in the first place; donating our end-of-day stock to KiwiHarvest and our food scraps and paper flour bags to Doubt Not Compost. In our shop we minimise plastic packaging wherever possible, for example only stocking soft drinks supplied in glass bottles.