There's nothing like a bite of something sweet to inject you with some energy and that's exactly what's happening out at Pialligo.
Chef and patissier Natalie Van den Bosch, formerly of cult Gungahlin bakery Le Bon Melange, has moved into the vacant Farm Shop Cafe space and people are flocking back to the precinct to dine at The Pialligo Bakesmith.
After the collapse of Pialligo Estate in March 2023, the Beltana Road precinct known as The Plot has suffered after both the Farm Shop Cafe and the Market Grocer, which were run by Pialligo Estate, closed their doors.
Only a few retail businesses remained. Christine Pearce's interior styling and home decoration business Pink Flamingo Interiors and Brian Tunks' Bison Homewares, with both the Glasshouse and The Cottage, all noticed a downturn in trade.
The Pialligo Bakesmith has only been open for three weeks but already customers, and shoppers, have been making their way back to Pialligo.
Van den Bosch ran Le Bon Melange for five years before moving on 18 months ago. Le Bon Melange is under new management. She'd been keeping half an eye on vacant spaces and when her good friend Tunks called and suggested she come out to Pialligo she could see the potential of the space.
The cottage has been given a lick of paint, the gardens tended to, the large outdoor deck and marquee spaces brought back to life.
Having the extra space - and a bigger kitchen is on the way too - has enabled Van den Bosch to extend the menu.
"We just didn't want to be a cookie cutter kind of cafe," she jokes, being a baker and all.
As well as the sweet treats, including a range of perfect little pastry tarts and pies, there's a savoury menu that's proving popular.
She's secured the services of chef Yokus Wu and pastry chef Callum Thomas, Klim Kim is keeping an eye on front of house.
"The hot savoury meals have been going really well," she says. The boulangerie potato is a layered baked potato served with poached eggs and maple-glazed bacon has proved a favourite. So too the chilli scramble with XO chilli, eggs and hickory-smoked salmon.
- The Bakesmith at Pialligo, 12 Beltana Road, Pialligo. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 8am-4pm. @thepialligobakesmith