History - Trentham's Scotch oven bakery
On the site of RedBeard, Trentham’s original bakery used our Scotch oven continuously from at least 1892 (and probably earlier) to 1987, through four generations of bakers. The first baker, John Wolff, supplied local townsfolk and farm workers with classic white high-top loaves, most likely delivered uncut and unwrapped to the customer’s door. He mixed and shaped all his doughs by hand and fired the oven with local timber.
Little changed in the next 100 years, as John was followed by bakers Charlie Rook, his son Jack Rook, and finally Jack Groves. Jack Groves died from a heart attack on the job in 1986. His family (who still call Trentham home), struggled to keep the bakery going, but could not compete with the factory-made bread that now dominates supermarket shelves.
The bakery lay dormant for almost 20 years until Daylesford musician and owner-builder Adrian Kosky breathed new life into the neglected property, with an extensive renovation that created space for a café. The Scotch oven was in surprisingly good condition – only the floor needed replacing and the original cast iron doors had to be found and refitted. Visitors are welcome to take a peek into the oven - we offer free tours.
John and Alan Reid found the renovated bakery in 2005. They could instantly see its potential for producing large volumes of high quality, handmade sourdough bread and other delights. John and Al decided on the name RedBeard for their business as their surname Reid comes from a Scottish clan known for their red hair and beards, and they bake in a Scotch oven. Beard is also an anagram of bread, and well…it’s memorable!
Thanks to Alan Grey of Earth Garden magazine for this information.