Meet Beabea’s Bakery — the laid-back new Westmere spot to have on your radar

“Beabea’s is an ode to the people in all of our lives who create lasting moments for us through food,” Sarah Tabak tells me of Beabea’s Bakery, named for her great aunt, who she has to thank for her most cherished food memories. “Food is so closely linked to memory, and we’d love to be able to create food that reminds our customers of something or someone.” she continues. The winemaker-turned-baker and I are discussing her and her partner’s new venture, a laid-back bakery that opens its doors today in the heart of Westmere.

Sarah met Ben Eyres while they were both working at Daily Bread; Ben was the head pastry chef and Sarah worked in delivery during lockdown before moving into the pastry kitchen herself, and the pair quickly realised how well their skill sets complimented each other, “At the risk of sounding cheesy, it was like two puzzle pieces clicking together.” explains Sarah. A place of their own felt like a natural next step, and when an iconic spot became available in Westmere, the timing felt right and they decided to take the plunge.

At Beabea’s, the mission is simple: deliver an elevated, inventive take on Kiwi classics, crafted using both modern and traditional baking techniques, in an incredibly relaxed setting. Upon just one visit, we can confirm that this new spot delivers on all fronts.

The space is entirely open plan, including an exposed kitchen — a feature that drew Sarah and Ben to the former classic Kiwi bakery that endured for more than 30 years, “We love baking, and want to be able to share how it all goes down.” Sarah says. Considering its former tenants, the bones of what was needed from a practical standpoint were already there, so it was just a case of sprucing the place up and making it fit for purpose. In a bustling bakery, functionality is key, so durable materials take centre stage. Here, stainless steel countertops are complemented by hardy tiled flooring, while the original floor-to-ceiling tiles remain — square patterning still intact, adding to the classic, nostalgic vibe. At opening, there’s only a single low bench out front and a raised perch inside, so it’s mostly takeout for now, with outdoor tables coming soon.

On the menu, Sarah explains that the pair wanted to create something unique but familiar. “We’re essentially offering a selection of the old school favourites, reimagined in pastry format,” she says, “Our mortadella and tomato sauce croissant is a perfect example; it’s reminiscent of the luncheon and sauce sandwiches we grew up eating after school”. Ben’s go-to after-school snack also features, “Our square pies are a take on the frozen ones you’d slap into the microwave when you got home starving!” he laughs. Beabea’s offers all of the classics you’d find at a Kiwi bakery in the 90s; pies, pastries, and bread (albeit not the tin loaves of times gone by, but fresh sourdough loaves and breadsticks instead), and there are plans to expand the offering, bringing delicious sandwiches into the mix.

A hot brew and pastry go hand in hand, so nailing the coffee was imperative. The duo partnered with Atomic to perfect their coffee (which is as good as it gets), but for those looking to skip the caffeine, there’s a special something on the menu that Sarah is particularly proud of, “We’re also going to be serving up milky Milo’s, because what’s more Kiwi than that!” she says.

Sarah and Ben set out to offer locals (and those coming from further afield) a no-fuss, community-focused spot delivering elevated takes on the classic, nostalgic Kiwi bakery fare that we all know and love. They hope that, by reimagining the classics, we’ll be transported back to a simpler time and be inspired to tap into fond childhood memories. A great sentiment, being well-realised at what we’re sure will fast-become a local favourite.

Opening hours:
Wednesday to Sunday, 7am-2pm (or until sold out)

instagram.com/beabeas.bakery/

160 Garnet Road,
Westmere,
Auckland,
1022

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