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Made in Manawatū-Whanganui: The Baked Dane

Discover the magic behind New Zealand’s local gems with our latest We Love Local supplier story, showcasing The Baked Dane based in Levin! Dive into the heartfelt tales of our beloved small-batch producers as they share their inspiring journeys, deep community bonds, and the unique flair that makes them shine. Get ready to be moved by their passion, challenges, and commitment to sustainability. Plus, discover their favourite products and where you can snag them! 🌟🍯🌿

Baked Dane Bakery Levin
The Baked Dane Crew

Could you share with us the story behind starting your business?

I moved to New Zealand from Denmark in 2012 and spent the first 5 years in Auckland, where I worked as a senior logistics coordinator. In 2017, I fell pregnant with my firstborn, and we decided it was time to leave the big smoke and move to Levin. Maternity leave wasn’t for me, so to stay busy, I did what I love the most…cooking, to be more specific, baking crackers and bread in this case. I baked so much that when my friends and family’s pantries were stocked, one friend suggested I go to a local market and sell my creations. So I did, and in 25 minutes, I had sold out of everything and the following week had people ringing me for more, so it became a hobby.

When I started back at my job after maternity leave was over, I would go to farmers markets on the weekends, and whatever I didn’t sell, I’d bring to work, and they would sell it at the cantine there. Then, one day, I decided to cash out all my leave pay and buy seeds and flour for the lot, quit my daytime job and go full noise on this venture. I hired a couple of local mums and converted our guest house to a bakehouse, and from there, we baked our hearts out for 5 years.

Last year we moved the business into a purpose-built warehouse in a business park in Levin, and from here, we have been able to open our own shop and run the food production with great success and joy to the community who can now purchase fresh baked sourdough breads, our full range of products and other amazing NZ made goodies that we stock, it’s a foodie heaven and a dream come true.

What do you love most about running a small business in your region, and how are you involved with the community?

Being able to create a work life and have flexibility around my kids’ needs and being able to offer the same to my workers if they need it. We sponsor local sports events for kids.

What do you believe sets you apart from others? What are you most proud of?

I am a creative woman, a mother, and an employer who always tries to put myself in others’ shoes, understand what responsibilities those titles come with, and then add the flexibility we need in our work lives to make those responsibilities a lot easier. I am most proud of my team.

Your favourite local product?

Genoese Pesto, for sure!

Where can people buy your products?

On our website, www.thebakeddane.co.nz, people can purchase directly from us and see where we are stocked. And of course in our beautiful shop on 5 Bush Street in Levin.

At We Love Local, sustainability is a core value. How does your business align with these values, and what future initiatives do you have planned to further these goals?

We run a 100% waste free on food business, unsold bread gets made into new creations like our Garlic Rye Chips, Sweet and Salty Rewena Chips and Sourdough Croutons and crumbs from our range of crackers become an ingredient in biscuits. We also have an arrangement with local supermarkets so we collect their fruit boxes, which we use to store all our products, and also send orders. I would love to attack our use of plastic bags for our products, but so far, there is no other alternative that works for them.

Running a small business comes with its unique set of challenges. Could you describe some of the obstacles you’ve encountered and how you’ve overcome them?

Late last year, I experienced firsthand what complete burnout means and feels like. My mental and physical tank was simply completely empty. I had to leave the business in the hands of the team at our busiest time of the year and take a long time out. The fact that I was able to leave this huge responsibility to my amazing team, who stepped up and did an extraordinary job, taught me a lot, but most importantly, that we have something very special here at The Baked Dane.

Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey with us. We’re thrilled to feature The Baked Dane’s exquisite products in the following NZ gift boxes, bringing a taste of Manawatū-Whanganui to homes nationwide:

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10,000+ Customers

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