Pies at 3am? No worries. The family bakery in Donnybrook open 24/7

Shannon VerhagenSouth Western Times
Donnybrook Family Bakery owner Allan Bunter is pleased he made the decision to operate 24/7 18 months ago.
Camera IconDonnybrook Family Bakery owner Allan Bunter is pleased he made the decision to operate 24/7 18 months ago. Credit: Shannon Verhagen/Shannon Verhagen

When Allan Bunter decided to open his bakery in the small farming town of Donnybrook, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, people told him he was “mad”.

But 18 months down the track, he credits the bold move for getting the Donnybrook Family Bakery – where three generations of his family work behind the counter — through the tough coronavirus pandemic.

People haven’t wanted to travel and leave the area,

Allan Bunter

“There’s still a lot of people down here very unsure about having Perth people coming down … so those people that don’t want to travel think it’s wonderful that they can get up, come down here and basically buy nearly everything they could possibly want.”

Donnybrook Family Bakery owner Allan Bunter is pleased he made the decision to operate 24/7 18 months ago.
Camera IconDonnybrook Family Bakery owner Allan Bunter is pleased he made the decision to operate 24/7 18 months ago. Credit: Shannon Verhagen

Mr Bunter said the number of essential workers — particularly in forestry or mining — had remained consistent on the road, stopping in at all hours on their way to and from work and giving the bakery a steady flow of income.

Having already operated at extended hours — 3am-6pm — for the previous two decades, Mr Bunter said it was merely a matter of filling the overnight gap.

And with the bakery’s prime spot on the South Western Highway, he knew he’d be onto a winner.

“There’s so many different people moving around,” he said. “Fly-in fly-out workers going from anywhere south of here up to Perth to fly out — there’s nowhere else, so they stop here … about 2-3am.”

“The lithium mine, their trucks are going all day … the logging trucks are always on the road. And it’s not just the trucks, it’s the guys that go out into the forest, log the trees and put the trees on the truck. Once they get out to where they’re going — which can still be two hours from here — there’s nowhere.”

Donnybrook Family Bakery owner Allan Bunter is pleased he made the decision to operate 24/7 18 months ago.
Camera IconDonnybrook Family Bakery owner Allan Bunter is pleased he made the decision to operate 24/7 18 months ago. Credit: Shannon Verhagen/Shannon Verhagen

As for the locals, the bread shop has been well ‘loafed’ by those in ‘knead’ of a midnight snack.

We get them at 10-11 o’clock at night ... because they’re hungry or want a cake or sitting up watching a movie and they’ll come running in in their pyjamas and say ‘I’m so glad you’re open, can I get a cake’.

Allan Bunter

Mr Bunter believes he is the only country bakery open 24/7 in the South West — potentially the State — and while the decision to open round the clock may have seemed crazy at first, he now would not have it any other way.

They said you’re mad, which I totally agreed with. A lot of people were surprised and still are surprised.

Allan Bunter

“We just kept getting busier and busier … and now we’ve got to the stage where we couldn’t shut.”

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