The Calvert family has deep roots in Irrewarra. A Western District farming area near Colac, Calverts first farmed here in the 1840s. The bakery is in the restored stables of Irrewarra House – once filled with the aroma of horses and straw, it now exhales the heavenly aromas of freshly baked bread. Irrewarra is an Aboriginal word meaning “long spear throw”. Traditional home of the Kolak clan, Irrewarra is now famous for sourdough bread and Irrewarra bio-dynamic icecream, made by the Hitchings family – also in old stables – on a neighbouring property once owned by Calverts.
Sunlight streams into Irrewarra bakery through large glass windows and our bakers look out over ploughed paddocks and grazing cows. Our bread is imbued with the fresh country air, and the filtered water used in our dough comes straight from the Otway Ranges. Surrounded by the remnants of a 120-year-old garden, this picturesque, historical setting sits well with our traditional breadmaking techniques. Leavened only with natural wild yeasts (sourdough culture), our bread dough proves slowly over the day as it rests, and is then cut and shaped by hand.
In January 2000, after 5 years baking sourdough bread at home, Melbourne lawyers John Calvert and Bronwynne Roberts decided to pursue their passion for bread and started Irrewarra Sourdough bakery. It was a bold move for two lawyers who had never baked commercially, particularly given they were setting up the bakery in the middle of a paddock in rural Irrewarra. But the bread was an instant success along the Great Ocean Road and soon Irrewarra was being delivered daily into Melbourne. Since then the bakery has grown to become one of Australia’s best and largest sourdough bakeries diversifying into granola and festive and sweet baked products.
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