Arun St cafe offers best of long baking tradition
Oamaru’s Vinbrux family has kept alive a decades-old tradition of baking by opening a cafe in Arun St.
Based at the former site of the Hearts of Haukimina Dairy, Vinbrux Kaffeehaus opened for business on Tuesday, and by mid-morning had a steady stream of customers through. Co-owner Christel Vinbrux said the cafe specialised in sourdough breads and printen biscuits – traditional German fare – but also sold buns, croissants, custard crumble buns, eclairs, cheesecakes, gateau, cakes, savouries and Belgian-style chocolates, all made on site. It also sells coffees and hot chocolate.
Mrs Vinbrux said the family, which ran a bakery near Aachen, Germany, for 12 years that made 300kg of printen biscuits a day, had a proud tradition of baking which went back five generations. Co-owner Richard, son Jan and daughter Judy (16) all work at the cafe. “We had a bakery on Harbour St but none of the kids were showing any interest to be a baker,” she said. “But then Jan got infected with the baking bug and then Richard bought this building here to teach him baking, so that’s been going on for about six years. “Now Judy got infected by the bug too and she is on the cake side of things and makes the coffees.” While German bread is the cafe’s specialty, she said there was also a strong Belgian and French influence. She felt the only drawback was the cafe was not in a prime location. “It’s probably not in a location when you’re thinking about tourists but people have to drive to a cafe here anyway so they can come here and park right outside the door.” Mrs Vinbrux believed quality goods, a pleasant environment and friendliness were keys to running a successful cafe. “We only sell perfect goods. Anything which isn’t up to our personal standard, we don’t put out.”
Richard and Christel’s other son, Danny, runs Danny’s Butchery, in Arun St.