How siblings Lucy, Lochie and Noah Trease turned a lockdown hobby into a successful business

Lochie, 13, and Lucy, 15, manage to fit in their baking around a busy school and sport schedule. PHOTOS: Kate O'Neill
Lochie, 13, and Lucy, 15, manage to fit in their baking around a busy school and sport schedule. PHOTOS: Kate O'Neill

Baking sourdough was the must-do hobby of last year's lockdown.

When restrictions eased, most of us stopped feeding our starters, but it was just the beginning of a budding business for the Trease siblings.

Lucy, 15, Lochie, 13 and Noah, 8, of Alstonville started experimenting with sourdough when they were doing school from home last year.

They'd get together in the kitchen in the afternoon determined to make the perfect loaf and then test out their products with family and friends. Their efforts paid off and they soon saw the potential to start something bigger.

With a bit of help from mum and dad, they launched TALLN Bakehouse (the name created from their initials and the initials of their parents, Toni and Andrew).

They offer plain and olive sourdough, and also make cook-at-home pizza bases, with pick-ups from their place on Tuesdays and Fridays. They also deliver a bunch of orders to their school, Alstonville High, for staff, and Mum and Dad take orders to work, too.

Shaping the loves, baking and packaging happens on their back deck

Shaping the loves, baking and packaging happens on their back deck

In the past nine months, they've built the business up from sales of about six loaves and four pizza doughs to about 60 loaves and 80 pizza bases each week.

"We started off small, but gradually we've got regular orders," says Lochie.

Lucy says it's a great way to earn some extra money, while still being able to fit in their homework and sport. All three siblings are keen soccer players and talented swimmers, and train most days.

"All my friends had started to get jobs and it was like, I don't really have the time because of swimming in the morning or afternoons or soccer, and it's really hard to work around that with a job, so I was trying to think of ways we could do it and run it ourselves."

The trio also make sourdough pizza bases and are keen cooks

The trio also make sourdough pizza bases and are keen cooks

They now bake twice a week, mixing the dough in the morning before school or swimming training, then shaping and baking in the afternoon.

Lochie and Lucy share the job of baking and mixing, depending on what they have on that day, while Noah helps with the packaging and stickers.

Lucy takes care of the publicity, running an Instagram and Facebook page to keep their customers up to date and share recipes.

They've invested in a top-of-the-range Belgium made bread oven, which has made the whole business more efficient and have perfected their techniques so it all now runs like a well-oiled machine.

And now they've paid off the bread oven, they say they're putting their business profits toward buying a car.

"I'm saving up for a car because I get my L's soon," Lucy says.

"We decided once I get a car, I can drive Lochie places so it'll work in his favour, and then we'll save up for him."