A new generation at one of the most iconic Australian sites
Coming from the Arnott family, with a continuous baking history of over 170 years, Stephen Arnott felt the loss of this heritage during the takeover of Arnott's biscuits in 1991. This break in the chain was the determining factor in wanting to continue his family tradition. To this end, he commenced his trade baking qualifications in Newcastle and Morpeth Sourdough in 2002.
Allison Arnott was working as a Research Scientist for George Weston Foods (GWF), parent company to Tip Top Bakeries. This is where she developed her expertise in large-scale bread production. This experience gave her exposure to the baker's yeast method of bread making, or quick rise bread. Following on from a bachelor degree in Biotechnology, GWF sponsored her studies for the award of Master of Applied Science (Food Microbiology) at UNSW.
During this period, she studied the microbiology of sourdough bread, leading her to the history of this ancient bread making process. In 1994, a study trip to the USA led Allison to several sourdough bakeries in California, home of the famous San Francisco sourdough (and again in 2000 and 2018) to visit Boudin bakery.
During a visit to Morpeth in 2001, Stephen took Allison on a tour to show her where his forefathers had arrived from Scotland and began baking in the 1800's. After viewing the dilapidated bakehouse, Stephen and Allison purchased what can only be described as one of the most iconic Australian sites - and made the move to Morpeth.
It took 18 months to restore the old residence and shop front, a painstaking process, to retain as much of the original fabric as possible. During this period the family grew, test baking was done, packaging and logos were designed and family research began.
The unique logo was designed by Mark Landini (Landini Associates); a stylised view of the wrought iron lace verandah panels, resulting in the logo and designs which became the Morpeth Sourdough trade marks. Together, with exterior and interior design, Landini drew on our historical links to the area, the building and our family's pioneering the colonial baking industry.
Bringing all of these influences together with all of the love and care for one of the most iconic Australian sites is what created Morpeth Sourdough in 2002. Now the Arnotts are continuing the family legacy at the Historic Arnott Bakehouse and welcome you as our guest at the William Arnott Hotel and Sourdough Classes with Stephen Arnott.
What are you waiting for? Take the time to explore one of the most iconic Australian sites and the original home of everyone’s favourite biscuits.