Take a clever artisan baker, natural ingredients, and a good dash of hard work and passion, and the result is the award-wining Clareville Bakery. Co-owner Mike Kloeg explains why their delicious baked goods are on the rise.
Baking runs in the blood for Mike Kloeg, co-owner of the Clareville Bakery and the recipient of a string of medals and awards.
Growing up in Masterton, he worked at his parents’ bakery, learning at his dad’s side about the industry and inheriting a life-long love and curiosity about food. “I completed my baking apprenticeship with my father and after I left school, started work in their bakery. Then in 2013, my wife Rose and I saw an opportunity to start our own bakery in Carterton. We began with only six staff, and now six years later, we have expanded the bakery, opened a café and employ a total of 30 staff,” says Mike.
Their trademark time-honoured traditional baking methods have earned Clareville multiple awards (including the Farro Earth Champion prize at the 2018 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards) and loyal customers who return for favourite products like their scrumptious hot cross buns.
“I enjoy baking from scratch, allowing long fermentation processes and getting all the goodness out of the wheat. It is such a magical process to mix together flour, water and salt and create an amazing, chewy, airy bread with a golden crust. The end product truly transcends the ingredients,” he says.
Mike and Rose have passed on the baking genes to their four children, aged from 10-14. “We have four little foodies and they love helping out in the bakery and are brilliant at food presentation, but at the same time, like most kids, they have quite down-to-earth tastes – their favourite foods are still pies and chocolate brownies!” The busy couple split their roles at Clareville with Rose taking charge of the day-to-day running and Mike heading up the bakery.
“Although we have different jobs in the business, we share the same goals and passion for our products. We take pride in using natural and local products where we can, for example most bakeries use imported wheat but we are proud to be using Kiwi-grown wheat from Farmers Mill in Timaru. We appreciate the passion and hard work from our growers and make sure we pass that onto staff and therefore into our products.”