Ferny Creek Bakery – Proserpina Bakehouse
261 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Ferny Creek
My first visit to Proserpina Bakehouse, was within weeks of it opening at its original site in Sassafras in November 2017. My daughter Piper was not quite two. After that initial visit my family and I became frequent customers. I loved that we could stand and watch the bakers working away. Piper’s favourite was when they made the giant pizzas. I loved the white vaulted ceiling and their fancy lemon tarts. And the chutney they served with pastries rather than commercially made tomato sauce. As Piper got a little older she would tell me it was like The Little Red Hen Golden Book because they milled their own flour on site.
In January 2019, Piper’s little brother Oakley joined us. He had severe allergies to wheat, dairy, eggs and soy. As I was breastfeeding I had to avoid these things too as he reacted even if it was me consuming them. So for 18 months or so we mostly stopped visiting. It was too torturous for me to go and not be able to partake in all the delicious goodies. But once Oakley outgrew most of his allergies we made a joyous return. During those lockdown years, I have such great memories of the kids both eating the giant, icing sugar coated cruffins (one part croissant, one part muffin) and playing with the toys by the outside tables.
With so many visits behind us it was with mixed feelings that I heard that Proserpina would be moving from Sassafras to a new site in neighbouring Ferny Creek.
The New Proserpina Bakehouse Site
Ferny Creek will no doubt prove to be an interesting new chapter for this hills-based business. In Sassafras, Proserpina was surrounded by all the little hamlet has to offer; gift shops, speciality stores and a constant stream of tourists and visitors. However, it could get busy and on weekends parking could be tricky.
Ferny Creek, by contrast, has – at least up until now – had little to make many tourists stop. They tend to just pass through on their way higher up the mountain. Now with Proserpina on the main road with its own carpark and plenty of space for the ever-present-weekend-cyclists to pop their bikes Ferny Creek is set to become far more of a pitstop.
The New Proserpina Bakehouse Space
Many of my favourite features from the original Sassafras store have been replicated at Ferny Creek. There are still the glass cabinets of delicious looking sweets. The self-serve water tap with both still and sparkling options is back (though this time without the wooden spoon handles). There are books and magazines for customers to flick through while at their tables. There are fresh flowers. And most importantly, for me anyway, there is another open plan kitchen space so you can stand and watch these artisans at work.
The new space is still bright and airy but the Scandi style furniture and wood heater give a feeling of warmth that was lacking at Sassafras. There is also far more indoor seating, along with outdoor options for warmer days.
Whether you are after a coffee, a savoury treat or a visually beautiful sweet I highly recommend visiting Proserpina. If afterwards you feel the need to work off the calories a walk through nearby Alfred Nicholas Gardens on Sherbrooke Road is the perfect solution. If forests and bush are more your thing the Sherbrooke section of Dandenong Ranges National Park is within walking distance. If you have little ones who need to run off their sugar high, walk the short distance along Hilton Road to Ferny Creek Reserve and its open space and playground. Alternatively, you can jump back in the car and head 10 minutes further up the mountain to the epic Olinda Playspace.
The Important Details
Address: 261 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Ferny Creek
Phone: (03) 9755 3332
Open: 7am-5pm Wednesday-Monday, closed Tuesdays
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