Serving up warm croissants, pastries and doughnuts throughout the day, Queens Pastry’s tiny shopfront has a cult following among Hobart locals – and it’s growing.
When you spot the aqua awning cast over Harrington Street, you’ll know you’re in the right place. Another good hint is the line of customers trailing out the store, hands wrapped tightly around toasty croissants. No visitor to Queens Pastry leaves empty handed.
Queens is another successful venture from the Pilgrim Group, launched and run by Chelsea Lowik. After toying with the idea of opening a bakery to supply Pilgrim’s cafes, a meeting was set up with pastry chef, Josh Knibbe, whose enthusiasm for handmade pastries proved addictive. In November 2016, Queens opened with Josh in the kitchen and Chelsea Lowik as General Manager, bringing the allure of freshly baked sweet treats to Hobart.
Croissants are prepared in batches over three to four days, a process that involves mixing, folding, rolling and baking. The pastries are given time to ferment, allowing them to develop into the melting, flaky creations that Queens is known for. Baking times are staggered, so at any given point you could waltz into the patisserie and be served a croissant fresh from the oven – if they haven’t already sold out, that is. Because the pastries are made without oils, additives and preservatives to extend shelf life, they’re best devoured within two hours – proof of Queens’ ethos that fresh is always best.
The other star of the show is Nathan Imber’s hand-cut, American-style doughnuts. There are classic pink or chocolate-glazed doughnuts to sample, or others filled with jam and tossed in sugar. Doughnuts of the day range from sugary rings filled with lemon curd or topped with toasted coconut. There’s no shortage of sweet surprises.
Savoury flourishes also make an appearance, such as the maple bacon doughnut, topped with a syrup-coated rasher. Enjoy your sweet treat of choice with a cup of Pilgrim Coffee, expertly extracted by Chelsea or one of Queens’ talented baristas.
Despite the popularity of the tiny patisserie, Will has no plans to create a croissant and doughnut empire anytime soon. That’s not what the handcrafted ethos behind Queens is about.
“Because it’s small, we can stick to our ideals,” Will explained. “It’s hard to maintain quality if you expand.”
To taste the hype, use your nose to beat the queues. You might need to stick around until the croissants are cool enough to handle, but as soon as that glowing package is in your arms you’ll know the wait was worth it.
A trip to Queens Pastry is an easy way to impress friends with top-tier produce that looks almost too good to eat. Exceptional service and a loyal following put this sweet bakery at the forefront of the city’s patisserie scene.