“Each one of our loaves is going to a family table and as they share that bread we want to give them pleasure.” The Ivanovic’s approach to business is as altruistic as possible. “We could charge more for our bread but our mission is to charge as little as possible so it’s not exclusive.” Ludmilla Ivanovic and her husband Igor have run the Iggy’s Bread stores in Bronte since 2008 continuing on the successful model they created in Boston before moving to Sydney via New Zealand.
Ludmilla hails from Canada while Igor is from the former Yugoslavia, further demonstration of the kaleidoscope of nationalities behind Bronte’s burgeoning artisan scene. She is passionate about her trade, referring to her bakery as a ‘church’, her 15-strong team is ‘sacred’ and her bakers blessed with a ‘craft’.
Embarking on this journey, the Ivanovics planned to run a bakery which focused on the tried and trusted, traditional recipes, the sort which inspired customers to remark: “I’ve been in Australia for over 40 years and that smell reminds me of my grandmother’s bread.” That said, one of the hallmarks of their success has been responding to customers’ needs, however personal. “We love feedback. One of our new bread is called Purple Wheat,” reveals Ludmilla. “It was created for a local osteopath who cannot eat gluten. We also do a Friday bread with honey and seeds, inspired by a bakery we worked at in New York.”
Iggy’s has stores at 49 Belgrave Street and 145 Macpherson Street, a former surf shop, and their produce is organic, sustainable, local and biodynamic. Options include Montreal bagels, inspired by Ludmilla’s roots, and in a nod to the strong sense of community between Bronte businesses, Iggy’s have begun baking a special ciabatta on the request of the guys at the Three Blue Ducks.
In keeping with many of the concerns of local businesses, Ludmilla strives to be as green as possible. “Waste is something I cry about,” she admits. “I feel incredibly passionate about waste. It is a resource which could be used in a better way.” Iggy’s ensure any surplus produce is taken to refugee and community centres and are keen to support local initiatives such as the planting of street garden beds.
One of Ludmilla’s favourite places in Bronte is the cemetery, a place to reflect in peace after a long day perhaps admiring the beautiful sunsets which have captivated her since living in Sydney. Rather poetic that two dawn settings contrast with a profession intrinsically linked to hard graft at sunrise.
The bench across the road watching all the locals
Address 145 Macpherson St, Bronte
Phone 02 9386 1370
Tue-Fri 7:30am until sold out
Sat-Sun 8:00am until sold out