The Autolyse-shaped hole left on Lonsdale Street is going to be filled with even more bread by none other than Sonoma Bakery.
Known for their slow-fermented sourdough, the Sydney bakery has been supplying to a number of Canberra businesses for years, but this will be the first time they bake in Canberra, and it will be their first cafe outside of Sydney.
Sonoma Bakery will take over a large space on Lonsdale Street, which formerly incorporated Autolyse bakery, Repco mechanics and the Autolyse juice bar.
Sonoma's Craig Donovan said someone suggested that they move into the spot left vacant when Autolyse closed in January 2017, and they jumped at the chance.
"We're servicing a lot of stores in the Canberra area at the moment and up around through Bowral. And the opportunity came up with that site in Braddon and we thought to ourselves, just with the timing and with our attitude of trying to get a fresher product closer to our customers - we wanted to cut out that three hour drive between here and Canberra," he said.
"There's a lot of great really great artisan producers in Canberra which we've always loved and tapped into. We've always thought we'd love to get closer to that catchment."
The bakery will take up most of the space, incorporating a giant oven which is currently on its way from Europe. It will service both wholesale orders plus a large cafe with indoor and outdoor seating. There will also be a coffee focussed 'brew bar' at the back, serving coffee roasted by Sonoma.
Like their other venues, the cafe will sell Sonoma's signature range of breads, pastries, sandwiches, pizza slices and sourdough-focussed plated meals. The Canberra cafe will also serve a new range of French-influenced pies, which aren't currently available elsewhere.
The giant glass displays out the front will be large enough for trays to be taken straight from the oven and put directly into the cabinet. And as opposed to getting the baking done first thing in the morning, bread and products will be baked throughout the day, so there will always be something fresh out of the oven.
Sonoma Bakery was started out of a family passion for baking. Inspired by his dad Kerry's interest in baking, Andrew Connole travelled to California in 1998 to learn all he could about sourdough baking. He returned to his hometown of Bellata in New South Wales with a sourdough starter, determined to recreate what he had learned back in Australia.
Connole and his brother Christian started out baking and selling their bread at markets, and due to its popularity, moved operations to Sydney in 2000. They now have seven cafes across Sydney, and Mr Donovan said Canberra was the natural next step.
"We've always had a big following in Canberra going way back, and we've always received a lot of encouragement. We always wanted to do the Canberra Saturday markets there as well, because our origin is markets," he said.
"Canberra's one of the places we actually synergise with - we love that culture we love what's happening so we thought we'd come and join the party and make it local and tap into the local community and local suppliers."
They expect the wholesale bakery will be open from early April, and will open to the public not long after. The Braddon bakery and cafe will be open seven days with freshly baked bread daily.