Emily and Dan Clark are bakers who opened Wild Soul Bakehouse in South Casino.
They’re telling me about their pie wins as we sit at a table in the corner of the bakehouse when a man walks by and leans in – “This is the best bakery” – then carries on to the counter.
His words hang in the air.
Emily laughs, “He was our first customer.
“I don’t know his name but he’s been in every day since.”
Wild Soul opened on February 24 and the corner bakery has its regulars coming in for the freshly made bread. And the extra thick vanilla slices. And the jelly slices. And the pies – of course.
Despite only seven months in business, Dan and Emily have won awards for their pies.
They won first place in the Queensland Baking Show for their plain beef pie.
In the Great Aussie Pie Comp, they won a silver medal for their Thai satay pie.
And their Philly cheese steak pie won a bronze medal.
“We make the pies and sausage rolls from scratch,” Dan said.
“It takes longer but the quality is better.”
A qualified pastry chef, Dan starts baking at midnight and is still going at 5am.
Emily works part time as a teacher but helps out when she can – making almond and caramel croissants and slices.
The bakery employs 15 staff.
Life is busy and Dan and Emily go to bed early after their three children, ages 2, 3 and 10 are settled for the night.
They used to walk by the empty corner shop dreaming of what they could do with the place.
Emily grew up in Sydney and moved to Casino four years ago.
Dan grew up in Lismore and Evans Head. He did his apprenticeship at a bakery in Evans Head.
It’s all been worth it – despite the long hours.
“When we opened we were blown away by the response from Casino,” Emily said.
They spent a lot of time choosing the right coffee and chose the Ground Control brew.
Any bread, pies and cakes not sold aren’t wasted.
“Anything left over we give to Casino Community Kitchen,” Dan said.
The business also won best start-up at the Richmond Valley Business Awards.
Visit Wild Soul Bakehouse at 70 Centre St, Casino.