Something exciting is coming to the food scene in Hamilton. Rüdi’s, a micro-bakery which specialises in sourdough bread and artisan pastry will open the doors to its first permanent flagship bakery and retail space this winter.
Rüdi’s is run by husband-and-wife duo Stefan and Fern. The couple met in London and after living abroad for over 10 years returned to New Zealand in 2021, settling down in the bustling beach-side town of Whangamatā. Their journey into the world of baked goods was an unconventional one. Prior to selling sourdough, Stefan was a professional architect and interiors photographer, and Fern, who has a PhD in Chemistry, held leadership roles in smart textiles and product development.
In 2020, COVID-19 threw a spanner in the works for the couple, causing Stefan’s work to completely dry up. He had always had a passion for sourdough and saw this as an opportunity to take a next step. He trained at E5 Bakehouse in London before spending six months working in artisan bakery Tough Mary’s Bakehouse in Nottingham, which allowed him to zero in on his skills.
Amidst the pandemic they decided it was time to come back to Aotearoa to be closer to their support network, so they packed up their lives and moved to Whangamatā. Stefan first started supplying a local café with his pastries and bread, which were baked in the basement of their family bach.
Rüdi’s was born.
Their first summer pop up was in the iconic building which was once the Whangamatā Cinema. They have since bought a food truck and spent the past summer season popped-up at the Whangamatā Marina, serving their delicious goods to their loyal customers.
After two years, they have now found Rüdi’s a permanent home in Hamilton. Fern reflects on their love for Whangamatā and the beautiful community that resides there.
“We have the most wonderful customers and I’ve never had such beautiful views from a workplace,” she says. However, with their children getting older and the need for a consistent year-round business, they decided it was time to move to the city. The relocation will mean they can onboard more permanent employees and focus more on family life.
The ease of living in Hamilton is also what appeals to Stefan and Fern. “You have everything you need right on your doorstep,” Fern says.
Keep your eyes peeled for their new bakery opening this winter and be sure to stop by for one of their mouth-watering cinnamon swirls.