John van den Berk
John is the Owner/Operator, and Master Baker who was instrumental in turning this business into the vibrant café and bakery you see today.
He started out working in his fathers bakery in Waipukurau at just 10 years of age, so has baking in his blood. John would bike the 2km to work every morning to help his father before biking to school. Obviously no one was at all surprised when he took off to Wellington to start a baking apprenticeship. From Wellington the apprenticeship transferred to Napier, and eventually John completed his time in Hastings at the Woodward cake kitchen.
John rejoined his father in Woodville where another family bakery had been setup, and worked there for awhile so his father could travel overseas. Once his father had returned John then went to work for a pie company and ended up managing the business for a number of years.
Following a stint of overseas travelling himself, John returned to New Zealand to manage a bakery in Napier, but eventually went into business with his father and a couple of family members until the business was sold a few years later.
John then got married to his wife Jeanette and they decided to set up their own business – so they bought the worst place in Hastings and transformed it into the award winning Bakery it is today.
16 years, 15 staff and 3 children later, John has followed his passion for baking and has even trained as a Barista. He now boasts he makes the best coffee in town using Altura organic coffee, in accordance with the fair trading coffee act.