Bakery to operate from Lane's Emulsion building

Oamaru Ed Balsink is looking forward to opening the Harbour St Bakery in the old Lane's Emulsion...
Oamaru Ed Balsink is looking forward to opening the Harbour St Bakery in the old Lane's Emulsion building. Photo by Sally Rae.
The home of the cure-all elixir Lane's Emulsion - remembered for the slogan "it's famous because it's good" - is now home to Dutch baker Ed Balsink.

Mr Balsink, who opens for business tomorrow, has moved to Oamaru from Hahei in the Coromandel.

The bakery business in Harbour St was established by German couple Richard and Christel Vinbrux and later owned by Kurt Paulsen.

It closed last year.

Reopening it has been a priority for the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust as it was "such a drawcard" to the historic precinct, spokeswoman Faye Ormandy said.

"Not only have local people missed being able to buy artisan bread, but every day we have tourists, particularly from Europe, looking for the bakery because they have read about it in a guide book or heard how wonderful the bread was from people who had visited previously," she said.

Mr Balsink first visited North Otago as part of a South Island holiday last year, then found the business for sale while searching the Internet for a small bakery.

He returned to check it out and met trust representatives.

"I think it was destined to be. It clicked immediately," he said.

Mr Balsink attended a baker's school in Amsterdam for four years before returning to his home town, Aalsmeer, to work in a bakery.

He trained as a master baker.

He moved to New Zealand nearly four years ago as he had "had enough" of Holland.

There were too many people and it was too busy.

"I was thinking about New Zealand for a long time. I basically felt at home from day one," he said.

He was missing "terribly" his wife, Carla, and their 2-year-old daughter, Layla, who were still in the North Island and will join him in a few months, although he could concentrate fully on setting up the business.

The historic building was "magic" and he intended learning about Lane's Emulsion so he could answer questions from customers.

Harbour St Bakery was the first business he had owned.

Organic goods were a priority, using non-genetically modified flour with no additives.

One of his trademark lines would be pumpernickel bread.

He was passionate about baking and bread-making.

"It [bread] is alive. I always feel special when I work with bread," he said.


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