Melbourne, Australia. In the early morning hours a queue wraps around a black brick converted warehouse in the suburb of Fitzroy. The air filled with anticipation in excitement for eating the perfect croissant. Since the New York Times named Lune Croissanterie “the world’s best croissant” in 2016, this queue forms every day until the delicious pastries are sold out.
In a purpose built, state of the art facility, designed by Kate and her brother Cam, the team works like cogs in a chronograph to create perfect pastries every single day.
The perfection and seamless processes are no coincidence. Kate is no ordinary patissier. Ever since she can remember, she had a close connection to cars. Her father is an avid classic car collector and young Kate and her brother would hover around when he was restoring classic 911s, sitting in the driver’s seat pretending to go on road trips.
Fast forward and what was once play becomes reality.
For as long as she can remember, Kate wanted to work at the pinnacle of motorsport. She had the vision that working in the upper echelon of innovation and technology for the automotive industry would give her the opportunity to be incredibly innovative, thinking outside the box and really pushing the boundaries of what was possible.
She tilted her entire education towards earning a degree in aerospace engineering, which eventually led her to a job in Formula One™ as an aerodynamicist, the first female one in the team she joined. When she got to the UK based team however, she discovered that it was not what she had imagined it would be like.
From a young age, Kate always loved baking. It was a way she found herself relaxing and enjoying time outside of professional commitments. Through research and trialling new things Kate discovered there was a lot of technicality involved in viennoiserie, the specific style of pastry that croissants fall under.
One day it occurred to her that baking could be more than just a hobby.
After spending a stint in Paris learning the art of viennoiserie, Kate returned to Melbourne and realised that nowhere in Melbourne produced croissants of the quality she experienced in Paris. This was the initial seed for Lune.
The transition from aerospace engineering to croissants may not seem immediately obvious. However, Kate explains: “My degree taught me how to break down a problem, how to understand the different variables, how to analyse how changing each of those variables will affect the finished product and how to measure results, how to record them and how to push and really innovate a product forward.”
This shows in the design of Lune where pastry chefs work in a slick, futuristic, temperature-controlled cube applying the specific processes Kate reverse engineered for baking the perfect croissant.
“A product can always be better.” Kate ReidIt is no surprise then that in her free time Kate expects perfection, focus and attention to detail.
“When you look at how Porsche creates their product, everything they put into the development of the car is for the driver’s enjoyment.”
“The performance of the car, the innovation of a certain type of technology and when I look at Lune, there are parallels that can be drawn between how we innovate and push the quality of our croissant forward and don’t rest on our laurels, because that product can always be better.”
“It’s knowing that there is always that room and opportunity to be better that continues to push us forward and I think that Porsche is a marque that clearly demonstrates that a product from an automotive perspective continually wants to push themselves forward and innovate.”
“One of the questions that people often ask me about Lune is am I worried that one day croissants will go out of fashion. And to be honest with you I’m not at all worried about that. It’s been enjoyed by people for hundreds of years. It’s a timeless product.”
“I think that’s the same with the automotive industry that from time to time fads of cars or designs will pop up, but the 911, I remember it, I grew up with it. 37 years ago there was one parked in the garage at our house. It was beautiful then and it has evolved in its innovation so much since then but it’s still a market leader. It’s a car that represents timelessness in driveability, performance and innovation and I don’t think that’s going to change either.”