the story of one of life’s key ingredients – bread
Bread is more than a staple for families across the world. It’s a shared story of nourishment, companionship and daily celebration; a continually evolving ritual that crosses oceans, countries and cultures to bring us together.
For the Love of Bread takes us back to when the craft of artisan baking was first established, and the time-honoured methods we now use were in their earliest stage. From there, we follow the extraordinary rise of the humble loaf to the many-splendoured, universal language of bread we know today.
“From humble beginnings baking loaves in an outback town and selling them at markets, to now running one of the world’s leading bakeries, my story has long been engrossed with the world of bread. For me, it’s more than just a staple, it’s a way of life.”- Andrew Connole - Founder of Sonoma
A MAN ON A MISSION
Join the charismatic, self-made baker behind Sonoma, Andrew Connole, as he uncovers the unique flavours, personalities and cultures baked into loaves across the world every day. After more than two-decades baking and building one of Australia’s most-buttered brands, this is a must-see journey inspired by a true love of bread.
A story nearly 70 years in the baking.
Today, you don’t have to go far to find a loaf of sourdough. You might’ve even had a crack at baking it yourself. But things weren’t always that way.
Sonoma’s first chapter begins in the late 1940s, with a little boy’s adventures in a NSW country bakery. Kerry Connole would visit his grandparents at their Busy Bee general store in the NSW country town of Bellata. But it was the adjoining bakery that he spent most of his time.
As Kerry watched local bakers knead, stretch and shape dough, a seed was planted that would transform into more than just a golden loaf. Years later, Kerry leased the old Bellata bakery for $1000 a year, and set about restoring it with his sons Andrew and Christian. None of them had baked a loaf before but sleeves are rolled up, and they get cracking on what would become their legacy.
The journey begins
Discovering his passion for bread making, Andrew travelled to San Francisco to learn the art of sourdough under Alan Scott, a pioneer of wood-fired oven building. The trip also saw him bake for master baker Chad Robertson, who reckons it was the best he’d ever had. Andrew returned home with inspiration and ideas, enough passion to drive two years of blood, sweat and baking with his brother, Christian.
The brothers spent this period mixing, shaping and baking loaves in the Bellata bakery, which they sold each weekend at Sydney’s Paddington markets. It didn’t take long before locals were hooked, and the fledgling bakery started to gain a following. Word of mouth saw people travel from across the city for a taste of the authentic sourdough and increasing demand meant the bakery was moved from country NSW to the city.
More than two decades later, Sonoma’s legacy continues. Everyday Sonoma bakers perform a ritual, driven by passion and an obsession with honing their craft. Working with freshly milled sustainable flour, filtered water, our prized sourdough starter and flakey sea salt, they knead and shape the dough with experienced hands. Together, they apply curiosity, passion and can-do towards new tastes, environments, and ways for people to enjoy the art of everyday living.