About The Rustic Baker – Steve Adams

“I want Rustic to look and feel like it’s somehow been transported back in time”
Steve Adams

For a Smile Worth a Million

May Wright meets Steve Adams

After almost 40 years in the baking industry, Steve Adams continues to aim for the sweet taste of success.

The fifth generation baker has recently taken up the reins at Rustic Bakery Café in Lincoln and has a clear vision of where he wants to drive it.

“We want to give people a sense of nostalgia when they walk in.” Steve says, “We want them to think of a simpler time when the customer service was great because the person serving you was your neighbour or someone you went to school with.”

Sticking to traditions of old is key for Steve. “I love the old-fashioned products I first learned to bake as an apprentice. I want Rustic to look and feel like it’s somehow been transported back in time”

The Lincoln bakery was originally built as a KB’s Bakery and was turned into Rustic Bakery Café by a previous owner in 2013. Taking on the bakery business takes Steve back to his ‘traditions’.

“I started my career as an apprentice baker at the Peter Pan Bakery in Oamaru at the tender age of 16.”

After completing his apprenticeship Steve moved to Christchurch to work for Ernest Adams. He then moved on to be bakery manager at Universal Catering in Tuam Street.

A few years later he purchased his first business, a small bakery in Papanui Road called Sunset Bakery. The baking business went through some hard times and Steve sold up to become the first bakery manager for Countdown Northlands.

“At that time I worked alongside Harry Simons who’d been appointed by Countdown to develop their in-store bakery chain,” he tells me. He gained the skills required to run a very successful in-store bakery and Countdown appointed Steve to assist with their store openings throughout New Zealand and to write the bakery training manuals for the group.

Four years later he became the dairy/deli/bakery specialist for SuperValue/Freshchoice. This involved working with the owner/operators to develop their in-store bakeries and service delis.

Steve says it was a great job learning new skills relating to marketing and merchandising and it lead onto being asked to apply for a South Island sales role within NZ Bakels – a role he held for 19 years.

“I felt after that amount of time travelling and waking up in different countries, cities and motel beds, it was time to do something different for myself.”

The transition to Rustic has been easy. Steve says Rustic reflects his personal  views, particularly around a love for family and baking.

“I love being able to start with simple ingredients and develop them into something amazing at the end. To see the smile on a customer’s face while they’re eating a product is worth a million dollars.”

Published By: Slice Magazine – December 2016