Black Rabbit Bakery owner Shane Ross stands outside his
artisan bakery, in George St, before he leaves on its final
day on Saturday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A well-travelled artisan baker says it is too hard to
make a crust in Dunedin, so he closed his shop on Saturday,
making four staff redundant.
Black Rabbit Bakery owner Shane Ross said he opened his
European-themed artisan bakery in George St in November last
year but was now considering trying his luck in Africa.
He decided to close the bakery because the $90,000 annual
rent, excluding GST, was too high and the customer base in
Dunedin was too small.
''It's just not sustainable.''
He had opened bakeries in other New Zealand cities, including
Wellington and Timaru, and budgeted between 10% and 12% of
his business costs to cover rent.
In Dunedin, he had to budget 25% to cover rent.
Since his shop opened in November, he knew of 11 shops in the
George St area closing, and ''that's not good''.
The bakery had employed three fulltime staff and one
part-time staff member.
Dunedin was a difficult place to run a business, because most
students and many residents ''evacuated'' the city during the
Christmas holidays, he said.
Most tourists visiting Dunedin were cruise ship passengers
and they usually ate on board and spent little on food in the
city, he said.
He kept his prices down to remain competitive but too many
food businesses in the area were competing for too few
He doubted the bakery would have been more prosperous if he
had opened in a nearby mall.
If he had to start again in the city, he would open in South
Dunedin, where rents were cheaper, he said.
After the shop doors closed on Saturday afternoon, he planned
to take a few weeks off to ''clear his head'' but would
definitely move out of Dunedin.
Mr Ross said he was contemplating taking up a job offer of
setting up bakeries in Zimbabwe.