Drive over the winding Remutaka road from Wellington, and soon you’re into the heart of rural New Zealand, the beautiful Wairarapa. This region has been farmed by generations of New Zealanders, famous once just for sheep, now known across the civilised world for its award-winning wine and cuisine, including our bread.
Take a moment to stop and stretch your legs in the town of Masterton. We won’t call it a metropolis, but it’s thriving all the same. The home to 25,200 residents at the last count, and over 100 of us earn a crust crafting brilliant bread at Breadcraft. A bold little bakery that opened its doors just after the start of the second world war.
See that wee boy on the left of this photo? He grew up to become an owner of Breadcraft. More about John Cockburn soon.
In 1968 Breadcraft teamed up with eight other bakeries and formed Quality Bakers (NZ) Ltd. Breadcraft still provides products to the group under famous household brand names like Quality Bakers, Molenberg, Vogel’s, Mackenzie, and heaps more... but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Breadcraft was founded in 1942 by Harold Cockburn who ran the business until 1970 when he handed it over to his son Bob. In 2003, John and Julie-Anne Cockburn, along with Peter Rewi headed up Breadcraft, before Peter retired in 2018.
The next generation is already primed. Mitch, who is John and Julie-Anne’s oldest son, will be completing his bakery apprenticeship ready to take over the family firm when the time comes. Their daughter, Siena, is still in high school, but we think there's a fair chance she'll be following in the family footsteps.
We’re proud of our history, and excited about what’s coming next. Everyone at Breadcraft believes that we can do better today than yesterday and make a difference to the world. For instance, our Future Foods program focuses on local sourcing, alternative proteins, New Zealand-grown wheat and more. We have the know-how to blend taste, nutrition and sustainability, and the insight to anticipate food trends early on, and take leadership.