Why popular baker has made heartbreaking decision
THE owner of Nimbin Bakery says he can't meet demand in the village due to a "trade-qualified baker shortage situation".
For more than three months Darren Butcher said he has been trying to employ a trade-qualified baker pastry chef to join his team.
"There's a general skills shortage of that trade in this area," Mr Butcher said.
"In fact, it's in the greater area as well, there are up to five bakeries in the Lismore area chasing qualified bakers."
He said the labour shortage was about baker's hours - the hours were quite flexible once a person was in the trade and understand the job.
"The shortage has existed for quite some time … we have enough work for at least two qualified bakers plus myself as the owner," he said.
"There's just not many younger ones and older ones these days who want to tackle apprenticeships."
Not being able to employ a baker has forced Mr Butcher to fill the role himself, which has taken "a huge physical and mental toll on my staff, family and myself, and is unsustainable".
During this time Mr Butcher said he has attempted to continue to supply the same volume of breads to the village even with less-skilled labour available.
But not being able to keep up with demand has led to the bakery being unable to supply Nimbin local shops (the Emporium, newsagents and service station) with its bread.
He said the team hoped to get back to producing the level of bread they were making to "continue being self-sufficient in our own little town".
"It's quite heartbreaking for me to not be able to supply all the local shops with our produce while there's a demand for it, because it's just physically impossible," he said.
"It's disappointing because we a local employer and a local business and it's hard for you to say no to any business, but unfortunately you can only do what you can do.
"Everyone has been understanding and supportive - we are a very tight knit community."
If you are a trade qualified baker looking for a job, contact Mr Butcher on 6689 1769, on the Nimbin Bakery Facebook page or at https://www.nimbinbakery.com.au/