Coming from the Arnott family, with a continuous baking history of over 145 years, Stephen Arnott felt the loss of this heritage during the takeover of Arnott’s biscuits in 1991. This break in the chain was the determining factor in wanting to continue his family tradition. To this end, and like his forefathers, he completed a trade in baking.
Allison Arnott was working as a Research Scientist for George Weston Foods. This is where she developed a passion for good bread. However, this industry experience gave her exposure to the commercialisation of yeasted bread and the standard of bread in Australia.
After commencing a Masters degree at UNSW, she studied the microbiology of sourdough bread, leading her to the history of this ancient bread-making method. In 1994, a study trip to the USA led Allison to several sourdough bakeries in California, home of the famous San Francisco sourdough and again in 2000 to visit the famous Boudin bakery.
During a visit to Morpeth in 2001, Stephen took Allison on a tour to show her where his forefathers had arrived from Scotland and began baking in the 1840’s. After viewing the Historic Arnott Bakehouse, Stephen and Allison purchased the site and moved to Morpeth.
Eighteen months of restoration of the old residence and shop front, a painstaking process, would leave as much of the original fabric intact as possible.
During this period the family grew, test baking was done, packaging and logos were designed and family research was completed.
The unique logo design was developed by Mark Landini (Landini Associates); a stylised view of the verandah iron lace, the logo and designs became the Morpeth Sourdough trade marks. Together, with exterior & interior design, Landini captured the essence of their heritage and baking expertise.
By 2003, with the bakery fitout complete, the business was officially opened by Councillor Peter Blackmore, Mayor of Maitland.