GILBERT'S FINE FOOD
A quick background
We (Kevin and Esther Gilbert) started our Dunedin-based bakery lives in 2006 when we bought Charlotte Bakery. Lievito Bakery, an outlet at the Otago Farmers’ Market followed in late 2007, and Charlotte was sold in mid-2008 to allow us to concentrate on just one business.
Over the next four years, this continued to grow from Kevin doing everything by himself on a mostly part-time basis to employing a baker (Kieran) and part-time help to get through the increasing demand for the gluten free breads and associated products. The premises we operated out of became increasingly tight.
In 2011, the search began for new premises, and over a year later, the business moved to its current spot at 47 Otaki Street. The converted warehouse now sports a large bake house, with plenty of room to grow. The added advantage of the site is the showroom which has been turned into our fabulous shop stocking our bakery products as well as NZ produced specialty foods.
At the same time, we changed the company name to Gilbert’s Fine Food, to better encompass the wider-than-just-bakery-product range of goods we now offer for sale. The Lievito Bakery name continues for the gluten-free range of products
•Trade qualified baker
•25 years in hospitality
•20 years in food
•The ‘why’ guy
•The face of Gilbert's (oddly enough)
•Comfy in all arenas of production
Kevin is the key person behind Gilbert's - master baker, product developer, sales person, procurement officer, chief of staff and many other titles. He got into baking when he wanted to leave school but was only allowed to do so if he had a job or apprenticeship lined up. Once qualified, he went on his OE where he ended up in Scotland. When he got back NZ, he retrained as a chef and worked in restaurants such as Thornley's and Te Papa's Icon.
Abandoning the kitchen, he did a stint as hotel receptionist / front office manager in Wellington, Queenstown and Auckland. A long-standing belief that there is more to bread than what can be found in a supermarket led to the ongoing experiment that began with Charlotte's French Bakery, progressed to Lievito Bakery and has now morphed to Gilbert's Fine Food.
In his spare time, he likes to play guitar and piano; distill and brew his own concoctions; and spend time in the garden (tending to edible plants only; the decorative ones tend to disappear).
•Trade qualified baker
•15 years in hospitality
•12+ years in food
•The cake guru
Another Dunedinite on the team, Cam has been with the Gilbert's team since we opened.
He comes to us with a wealth of experience particularly with cakes having been something of a figure in the event and wedding cake scene in Dunedin for the last few years.
In return for helping us improve our skills in cakes Cam is, for the first time since he's been baking (10 years) making pies, and Danish pastry.
A very proud father of two (Riley and Lyla) Cam is quick with a laugh, smile and joke. There is a standing challenge at Gilbert's - to record Cam's laugh to use as a ringtone.
• Our newest apprentice
• 4 years in hospitality
• 1 year in food
• Keen as mustard to learn and do all aspects of baking
• Has a natural ability for baking
Hilary joined the Gilbert's team in March 2015 wanting to become a baker's apprentice. After very quickly proving that she has a skill and passion for the craft Hilary has been signed up to the Apprenticeship Programme and is progressing well. With a natural talent that extends to all aspects of scratch baking we're sure we'll see big things from Hilary.
• Swiss born
• 20+ years in hospitality
• 10 years in food
• Focus on business administration & numbers
• The ‘how’ frau
• The brains of Gilbert's
Esther was born in Switzerland moving to New Zealand with her family in 1986 when she was still young enough to develop a sense of humour. Her Swiss background has had an influence on many of the products available at Gilbert's and continues to be a source of inspiration.
After attending high school and the University of Otago and still not knowing what she wanted to do with her life, (she will tell you that she still doesn't know what she wants to do when she grows up) Esther spent almost a decade working in hospitality (hotel reception, conferencing and management) in Queenstown, Wellington and Auckland.
A couple of positions in senior management provided a good grounding for the bulk of the work Esther does for Gilbert's - being most of the admin - hidden away but apparently necessary. Invoicing, paying bills, payroll, budgets vs actuals, the Food Safety Programme, the list is endless.
She spends most of her week working as administrator at a local accountancy firm and enjoys being at the Farmers' Market on a Saturday as an anti-dote to sitting in front of a computer all day. Esther can also be seen most mornings at the bakery either packing orders, doing yet more paperwork as well as being Kevin's assistant at baking classes.
Spare time is usually spent reading a good book or indulging in crafts.
• Nearly became an accountant but didn't like the idea of a desk job so entered hospitality.
• Business management experience
• 8 years in hospitality
• 6 years in food
Originally from Christchurch, Dana decided to live in a city with more solid foundations and moved to Dunedin a couple of years ago. She joined the GIlbert's team when we opened the shop, and has been the friendly face at the counter ever since. She is in charge of most of the non-baking food production, and has become a dab hand at filled rolls, biscuits and the myriad other tasks left to her on a daily basis.
An avid reader Dana is often engrossed in a novel and when asked to describe what else she does Dana says "searches the world for unicorns leaving a trail of mischief and mayhem in her wake".
• 10+ years in hospitality
• 8 years in food
• Journeyman baker (experienced but not yet qualified)
• Discovering a passion for craft baking
Greg has been baking for years in a variety of arenas so brings with him a wealth of skill. Although, as yet, this training hasn't been recognised with an official qualification, it's something that we'll be working on in the near future.
Aside from being one of the new kids on the Gilbert's block, Greg is also a keen, and semi professional, car enthusiast and given the number of packages that arrive for him, is building a car one mail order at a time. He is also a very devoted father to his young son - Macklin.
Actual photo is yet to be taken.
• Wants to be in the bakingindustry
• Coming up to two years in hospitality
• Bubbly, smiley and bouncy personality
Sian is both the newest and youngest member of the Gilbert's team being just shy of having been born this century..
Sian, originally from Scotland and more recently Balclutha, came up to Dunedin to join the Gilbert's team. With some bakery experience Sian is another quick study and has an enthusiastic interest in learning whatever she can about food..