At Lune Croissanterie, a former aerodynamicist is applying her engineering skills to croissants, using science to add some magic to premium baked goods.
Before social distancing and lockdown measures came into effect due to COVID-19, at the first crack of light on any given day in Melbourne’s suburb of Fitzroy, people were queuing for croissants at Lune Croissanterie. Not just any croissants, but days-in-the-making, twice-baked, plain or filled, topped or dusted croissants. Works of pastry art. Precision-engineered. These Australian-made baked goods are French-inspired but with a twist.
Lune Croissanterie made its debut in 2012. Headed by brother and sister duo Kate and Cameron Reid, it began as a small spot in Elwood where the flaky croissants were passed to eager patrons – if they were lucky. Lune’s opening hours are ‘7:30am until sold out’ – a testament to their popularity. Kate’s science-based approach to creating the best croissant isn’t surprising, given her experience as an aerodynamicist for Formula One. Changing tack, she scoured Paris for the best croissants, took insights from its boulangeries, and returned to Australia to form Lune. It took around four months to reverse-engineer the method to make the croissants she wanted – “crunchy on the outside and beautiful, soft, and airy on the inside.”
Her strategy worked. Kate has managed to create a cult product that visitors both local and international will travel for – which prompted The New York Times to ask, “Is the world’s best croissant made in Australia?” By 2015, a business partnership with Melbourne cafe entrepreneur Nathan Toleman enabled Lune to open a flagship in Fitzroy, turning out thousands of croissants each week. In 2019, it opened a standing-room-only shop in Melbourne’s central business district, offering a menu of fan favourites. Pre-pandemic, Lune was preparing to expand interstate with its first permanent space in Sydney and as the pandemic keeps people out of public spaces, the croissanterie is enjoying a roaring trade with tasty takeaways.
This is an excerpt of a report written for Canvas8. The full report appears behind a paywall