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Visionary Tenants: Penny for Pound

30 May, 2023
Visionary Tenants: Penny for Pound

Initially supplying the cafes of Melbourne, Penny For Pound quickly found favour with pastry lovers across the city, often selling out of its popular croissants and pastries. Hence why its owners, Matilda Smith and Ben Wilson, opened a stunning new commercial kitchen and cafe at Morris Moor.

Since establishing its first humble location in Richmond, the bakery has enjoyed enormous popularity from its loyal fan base. But there’s more to the story than just lemon-curd filled cruffins and lychee raspberry log celebration cake.

Matilda, an Ex-Merivale pastry chef, left the Sydney fine dining and venue empire to start her own bakery in Melbourne with her partner Ben. Arriving down south she so wanted to learn the art of viennoiserie, or laminated dough—the style of pastry you find in croissants and danishes.

However, those pastry skills Matilda so desperately needed to ensure the success of her business had to be found somewhere. So, she and Ben located an old pastry ‘sheeter’ on Gumtree, assembled it in the lounge room of their one-bedroom Collingwood apartment and they got practicing.

Soon the pastry-making skills were honed and perfected, bringing to fruition her dream of opening her own bakery, and Penny For Pound was born in 2016.

Fast forward to 2018 and with Penny For Pound’s pastries enjoying an insatiable demand from cafes across Melbourne, Matilda and Ben felt the time was right to take the next big step and open their Richmond bakery to the public. The little hole-in-the-wall, soon had queues around the corner with Melbournians desperate for their mouth-watering croissants waiting patiently in line long before the doors opened on weekends.

Success greeted Matilda and Ben with open arms and the success of Penny For Pound showed no signs of slowing. It wasn’t long before they started looking for a new premises, they could design to their own specifications. The site needed to provide room for

the wholesale business to continue to grow and be big enough to support a cafe and most importantly space for a large commercial kitchen.

After learning about Morris Moor’s flexible spaces, central location and future plans for the precinct, Matilda and Ben leapt at the opportunity to secure space for the business.

Up Property General Manager, Marcus Jankie says, “Morris Moor provided the perfect opportunity for Penny For Pound, where the manufacturing (baking) and retail components could be achieved in the same vibrant precinct.”

Building upon the idea of complete transparency during the delicate process of creating their signature croissants, the new Penny For Pound was a huge step up from their 40 square metre bakery in Richmond. In fact, at 800 square metres it’s 20 times larger, with its two huge production kitchens.

Following a similar design ethos to that of the Richmond store, but on a much grander scale, almost every wall in Penny For Pound is glass. To those passing by and anyone seated in one of the booths or tables in store, they have a font row seat of pastry artisans creating kitchen theatre.

It’s not hard to see that croissants here are king. Along with the classic plain, almond and chocolate varieties, you’ll also find amazing variations such as spinach and cheese and even pecan and marzipan. Not to mention the signature cruffins, petit gateau, and larger cakes sold by the slice.

“The retail café provides Morris Moor and the Bayside community a much-needed injection of caffeine and baked goods, whilst the quasi-industrial nature of the area allows for PFP to also produce it specialty goods on mass,” Marcus went on to say.

The Penny for Pound kitchens continue to supply beautiful pastries and baked goods to cafes such as Greta, New Order, Axil Coffee Roasters, Black Flat, Veneziano Coffee Roasters, Maverick, and more.

Born with an ethos of supplying hungry Melburnians with the finest tasting, freshest baked pastries, cakes and breads, Matilda and Ben are thrilled to continue their dream thanks to the scale and flexibility of their operation at Morris Moor.