The story begins with a loaf of bread. Well. Actually before that, it begins with a bad ass babe; as most of the best stories begin. This babe is Yeshe. Yeshe is the woman behind The Midnight Baker. I first stumbled into The Midnight Baker via instagram and rather quickly fell in love with the bread and the brand! I got my first loaf from a cafe on the shore. But these days you don't have to. Last year Yeshe opened a brick and mortar toast bar on Dominion Road. And it is stunning. Her story involves leaving behind normality in pursuit of a passion and beautiful wild dream. That dream is now a reality. Without more to say, lets hear from the Midnight Baker herself.
Tell us a little bit about who you are and what The Midnight Baker is?
My name is Yeshe. I'm the owner of The Midnight Baker. We bake a gluten, wheat, dairy, refined sugar, yeast & nut free seed bread called the Freedom Loaf. It's named as such because it's free of so many different things but it's also about having the freedom to eat without worry.
How and why did The Midnight Baker start?
It started 3 years ago. I had really bad eczema, digestion, and poor gut health. I'd always been raised with consideration for the way food affects our body but after reading The Body Ecology Diet especially I decided to make a drastic change to try and heal from the inside out. Foods containing gluten seemed to exacerbate my skin, along with alcohol and dairy products, so I gave them all up, one by one, as a test. I still wanted to eat bread though and after much research, trial, and error, I started making my own seed bread which is where the Freedom loaf originated from.
What was the motivation to open a brick and mortar as opposed to being mobile?
I'd always dreamt of having my own cafe. A space filled with plants and natural light. A place to come together. We aim to create good, wholesome fare in a sustainable way, with consideration but without the ego. It's just what we enjoy eating ourselves.
Did the midnight baker start as a passion project? How did you go about balancing your life, your day job, and your little start up?
It did. I started making the Freedom Loaf for myself, then for friends, and from there it grew via word of mouth and across social media. Balance is a hard one and it's something I'm still working on attaining. Two years ago when I started I worked full time and baked in the evenings (hence the name) there definitely was no balance but it needed that boost of energy and enthusiasm to lift it off the ground. These days I aim to take at least one full day off a week as downtime.
What is your favourite moment in the history of The Midnight Baker?
I have two - when I got to take part in Supreme Popped Culture with Supreme Coffee & Welcome Eatery. And when the cafe opened. Both were challenging, scary, exhausting times but they were so worth it.
What would you say to someone who wants to start their own little bakery business?
You have to love what you do, and it can't be about the money. It will be a lot of hard work, especially as it grows, but if these two things hold true, you'll be able to find joy in it no matter what.
What was your Babe Vibe moment this week? A moment where you felt on top of the world, your game and like a bad ass babe
Can I be honest? I haven't felt like a bad ass babe this week, and that's ok to me. I've felt exhausted but I've also felt satisfied with the small things I'm achieving on a daily basis. And grateful for the perseverance to keep going.
You can find The Midnight Baker at 218 Dominion Road, Mt Eden.
A big thankyou to Yeshe for taking the time to answer our questions! I hope you did get something inspiring out of it. And if you ever do visit Yeshe's cafe make sure you have a empty belly! Last time I went with Tara we ended up getting four dishes! All I'm saying is that the toast is damn good. And you're going to have trouble deciding which one to order.