Bakery with history of success crowned Ipswich’s best
ANY PERSON who dared set up shop at the former site of the beloved Billy Macs at Brassall was always bound to have their work cut out.
For Rick Lu of Hunter Street Bakery, however, it would appear the ghost of the decades-old institution has done nothing to harm his operation’s chances of success.
From this week on, the store will be known as Ipswich’s Best Bakery – as voted by QT readers.
The bakery – famous for its vanilla slice, choccy croissants and sausage rolls – is the first-ever to be owned by Mr Lu and his wife Sunny.
“I’m really surprised (to win) to be honest, there’s a lot of bakeries around,” he said.
“I don’t think that I’m up there quite yet but I’m glad the people of Ipswich enjoy our products.
“I’m more of an amateur baker, I tend to take care of my product more maybe, but I haven’t been doing it for that long.”
Mr Lu spends more time at the store – sometimes 19 hours per day – than he does at home with family since opening less than three years ago.
“I come from a family of uncles and relatives, a lot of them are bakers I learned a lot from them,” Mr Lu said.
“They’re probably why I chose this profession in this first place.”
It was during his time working at another bakery about 10 years ago when Mr Lu met his wife, later bonding over their mutual adoration of baked goods.
He said skills learned at his former workplace continued to serve him well.
Fortunately, the wider Ipswich community agrees; the business even recorded a spike in sales during COVID-19.
“We have a lot of locals and new customers, but we also have a lot of people come to visit us from outside the Brassall area from Karalee, East Ipswich, Karana Downs,” Mr Lu said.
“They come over here to buy products from us, which is really nice, especially considering there’s bakeries just down the road from where they live.”
His secret to success, he said, was using quality ingredients and keeping costs low.
“We don’t do anything fancy; we keep it nice and simple, even our slices aren’t too big or too small, that way we can keep our prices down,” he said.
“The average Joe can come in and afford a piece and enjoy it without having to worry about spending too much.”
As for plans to continue developing the business, Mr Lu remained tight-lipped.
He thanked the community for their support.
“I always tell my staff and wife that wouldn’t be here without our customer’s support, I really appreciate it.”
Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.