238 Oxford Street has been something of a baked goods mecca for a few years now. Until recently, the terrace at the Bondi Junction end of Oxford Street was home to the much-loved Cook & Baker, where queues around the corner were a common sight. Having grown from a market stall into a fully fledged business in under three years, the space’s new resident – Hudson’s Bakery – is attracting a similarly committed client base, with the main point of difference being the level of gluten in its food.
Founded in 2020 by Sandra Hudson, Hudson’s is an entirely gluten-free bakery, offering everything from lamingtons to breadsticks and sticky caramel slices to a crowd that often struggles to find baked goods that fit their dietaries.
After working as a consultant and then partner at another popular Sydney bakery, Sandra was encouraged to set up her own entirely gluten-free baking range by her friends, who – gluten-intolerant or otherwise – couldn’t get enough of her triple-chocolate cookies. Two years later, the Hudson’s Bakery market stalls – at Carriageworks and Cambridge Markets – had gained such a following that setting up a separate space became a necessity.
Hudson’s first physical store on Old South Head Road closed at the end of 2021, and the new store is a step up from its former (charmingly low-fi) digs. The scent of Hudson’s bafflingly soft gluten-free loaves wafts through the light-filled space, and a whitewashed table on the street is crowded with happy people tucking into carrot cake loaded with icing, and toasties stuffed with turkey and cranberry sauce. Batch-brewed coffee and tea is served for cookie-dunking purposes, and shelves are stacked with packets of crunchy bark crackers and gingerbread biscuits.
Eager to help her gluten-intolerant customer base enjoy good food at home, Hudson and head baker Kirsten Paris also offer takeaway dishes such as lasagne, stout pie and a seasonal crumble.
Having worked in kitchens across the world – from France to Canada to Japan – Paris isn’t gluten-intolerant, and approached recipe development without any preconceptions about the limitations of gluten-free baking. As a result, the Hudson’s menu is delightfully granola-bar free – think chewy sesame bagels, sweet and savoury muffins, a range of pizzas and the rich chocolate brownies, which invariably sell out every Saturday at the Carriageworks market stall.
The temporary Bondi store was characterised by its community-centric approach, and that’s something the Hudson’s team is keen to maintain. The ethos is about making gluten-intolerant people feel loved.
“Like when you go to your grandma’s as a child and she’s got a special creation waiting for you every time. I want every person who walks through the door to feel like the most important person in the world,” Hudson tells Broadsheet.
238 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction
0414 380 446