For such an intimate, family-oriented business, the Donnelly’s sure know how to throw a birthday party! I guess 150 years in the baking is quite a triumph…
Adelaide Food Central was truly honoured to be invited to the 150th Birthday Party of The Mayfair Bakery & Patisserie, situated at St Vincent Street, Port Adelaide. The party itself was hosted by The Folklore Café, a stunning venue that floats above the rolling waves of the wharf and provides the most spectacular sunsets you’ll ever see in Adelaide.
Spirits were flying high the entire night, with laughs and smiles in every direction. To provide a little context, this bakery is so good that His Excellency, Hieu Van Le, Mayor Claire Boan and local MP Susan Close were all in attendance (not to mention the delightful team at Mayfair and their family and friends).
The evening itself was just lovely, kicking off with light refreshments before speeches were made. All speech-givers made a point to run through a brief history of The Mayfair Bakery & Patisserie so perhaps I will too!
The Australian boulangerie was one of the first 6 shops to be established in Port Adelaide and remains as one of the only 9 shops along with the Mayfair today! Coming from humble beginnings, Mayfair attained gas lighting in 1881, before switching to electricity in 1889 and finally installing solar panels in 2020.
This petite bakery has withstood the test of time, baking its way through the 1901 Federation, World War 1, The 1930’s Great Depression and World War 2. But it’s certainly not all gloom and doom! In 1953, The Mayfair joined the celebrations for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation as the Queen paraded down St Vincent Street, right on its doorstep. Moreover, its dallying with royalty doesn’t end there… On the 21st of February 1974, the HMS Britannia docked in Port Adelaide and the Mayfair Bakery baked Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday cake! I wonder whether the queen is a chocolate or a vanilla fan…. To quote His Excellency, all we want to know is, “Well, how was the cake?” Delectable, I’m sure!
But back to the brief history lesson. Burton Leader Schultz bought the Mayfair Bakery from the Bower family in 1958. Personally, I believe all South Aussie men and women owe a little thanks to Mr Schultz… in 1960 he became the first person to bake and sell donuts in South Australia! What would life be like without him?
Ambition is well-seeded in this bakery’s history, evident from Mr Schultz’s opening of a second shop at 50 Saint Vincent Street, in 1961, before it tragically burnt down the same year. Nevertheless, this slight hiccup didn’t slow the baker down!
It seems that the bakery gained momentum after brushing coats with the Queen, opening up another shop on Semaphore Road in 1973, and then a third on Findon road in 1989. Unfortunately, a good run can only last so long, and in 1995, lacking investments, the closing down of the wharves, unemployment and poor economic growth meant that the Bakery faced considerable hardships. Nevertheless, resilient to the core, the Bakery and its staff continued to march on, all the while producing the best custard tarts in South Australia (according to Phil’s mother that is).
After an impressive 57 years, The Schultz Family sold the Mayfair Bakery to the Donnelly family on the 16th April 2014. The young 22-year-old Phil Donnelly commenced baking and ran the bakery with the help of his parents and wife Krista.
This passionate baker began his career at 14 years-old working part-time before completing his apprenticeship by the end of 2010. Instead of producing the standard Australian bakery fare of Aussie pies and vanilla slices, Phil and his wife Krista,look to France for inspiration, utilising their world-renown patisseries as a muse for their own Australian boulangeries. As a result, their two bakeries, The Rolling Pin and The Mayfair Bakery & Patisserie are principled and intimate, while keeping up with the changing times.
They’re continuing to exceed expectations, shooting goals left, right and centre. With specialities such as a cheeseburger pie layered with slow-cooked beef, cheese, Dijon mustard, New York ketchup and pickles before being topped with cheese and sesame seeds, the bakers at The Mayfair Bakery & Patisserie are certainly continuing to deliver quality food to locals and travellers alike.
Don’t be shy if you have any sort of dietary requirement either! Vegan donuts, gluten-free cheesecakes and vegetarian pastries take up a considerable amount of space in the shop display case. I was lucky enough to see firsthand the extent to which bakers Phil and Bridget cater to people of all dietary requirements; the four-metre-long trestle table being laden with vegan chocolate donuts and slices, gluten-free cheesecakes, mini (and larger) custard tarts, cream cakes, madeleines, Nutella filled donuts… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Luckily for us, the Mayfair crew are currently expanding their reach into grocery stores, with their Gluten-Free Cheesecakes soon to be a newcomer in the frozen aisle. Considering one of their bakers has a gluten intolerance, there’s no way this gateau won’t be to die for!
Whether they cater your next event or just fill a hungry Tuesday belly, we know that you will love The Mayfair Bakery & Patisserie. It has sure made its mark on Adelaide and will continue to do so for many years to come.
A hearty congratulations is in order as well as a Happy Birthday! To Phil and his family, thanks so much for having us. Here at Adelaide Food Central, we can’t wait to try your next buttery (or vegan) delight!
Words by EG Mills from E-cup Gastronomy
WHERE: 156 St Vincent Street, Port Adelaide