The duo behind Orphans Kitchen open a new bakery in Point Chevalier

Photographs - David Straight

First Look: Daily Bread

Tom Hishon loves to celebrate Kiwi ingenuity. The executive chef at Orphans Kitchen and the co-owner of Daily Bread, a soon-to-open Point Chevalier bakery and deli, has been collecting kūmara chip oil from the fryer in his Ponsonby restaurant for the past year, storing it in metal drums out the back, then blending it with diesel to create homemade biofuel to run his bogan Land Rover. “No breakdowns so far,” he laughs when I ask about the legality and logistics of it all. “Besides, I can’t afford an electric car.”

When Hishon opened Orphans Kitchen with Josh Helm in 2013, much of the restaurant was built from recycled materials – jars as lightshades, a roll of butcher’s paper acting as an ever-changing wine list, sheepskin rugs on the stools. The biofuel Hishon has made is an extension of their commitment to recycling and sustainability: creating an ethical restaurant model is just as important to them as delivering the best product to their customers.

Hishon and Helm, alongside new business partner Patrick Welzenbach (ex-Bread and Butter Bakery), are now bringing this ethos to Daily Bread, which will open in an old art deco bank building in Point Chevalier in January. It’s been a two-year project which, when finished, will champion a slow approach to food, with chefs employing age-old techniques for bread baking, pickling, curing and smoking.

Hishon met Welzenbach during a period when he was borrowing Bread and Butter Bakery’s production kitchen at night to perfect his bread recipes. Welzenbach is a 22nd generation baker from Germany who has been in New Zealand for the past three years. Looking around the old bank building, his baking heritage is evident in the years-old machinery he has shipped from home, some of which is vintage equipment from his family’s bakery that has been passed down through the years.  He’s also brought with him a 600-year-old sourdough starter which will be used for ferments here. There will be no commercial dried yeast used at Daily Bread. 

Daily Bread has an open-plan kitchen which will add a real sense of theatre for those who drop by. Just inside the door are the pastry section and a cabinet soon to be piled high with cakes and naturally leavened sourdough pastries. In a little further is the bread counter, which will be home to German-style rye bread, salty pretzels, lentil loaves and Hishon’s signature kūmara sourdough – loaves will come out of the oven in the afternoon, meaning locals can pick up something fresh on their way home from work. You will also be able to get made-to-order sandwiches on your choice of slice: they’ll come filled with in-house smoked cheese or fish, cured meats, pickles and the rest.

Pies will be a mainstay, and so will buttery, cheesy bread rolls and soft-serve coconut yoghurt to be used in the smoothies and breakfast bowls that feature on the short all-day à la carte menu. As well as all this, Daily Bread will act as a deli. You’ll be able to bring a flagon to fill with organic A2 cow’s milk (it’s easier to digest than regular cow’s milk) from the tap they’ve installed, stock up on cold-cuts and organic produce, or order and collect a “bach box” with all the essentials for a weekend away.

It’s easy to talk a big game about sustainability, and 2017 has seen many restaurants champion themselves as such, but Hishon, Helm and Welzenbach have gone further by asking many of their suppliers to step up, too: Coffee Supreme, who’ve supplied coffee to Orphans Kitchen since it opened, have created their first organic roast especially for the bakery – a blend of Colombian and Ethiopian beans – and Leigh Fisheries have stopped sending their fish in plastic polybins. Both of these things have happened because Hishon told the companies if they couldn’t meet his ethical standards, he simply wouldn’t work with them anymore. Thanks to this influence, Leigh Fisheries are working towards an insulated, entirely compostable delivery box – a first for any New Zealand fishery.

This wrap-around approach to creating an environmentally conscious bakery means there are huge commercial compost bins behind the site, sourced from Richard Wallis at New Zealand Box, which will service a potential future garden and the vege plot at the school down the road. Hishon will also run regular fermentation and pickling classes for anyone who wants to learn. And, like at Orphans, there will be beehives on the roof – the girls, as they call them, will pollinate neighbouring gardens and provide honey for the toast you’ll eat at their place. The trio see the shop as a chance to return to the days when people went to different places for different grocery items, and celebrated old-school cooking methods, rather than making a once-a-week trip to the supermarket.


Daily Bread
1210 Great North Road
Point Chevalier


Due to open 10 Jan 2018