Black Star Pastry opened its first bakery in colourful and unconventional Newtown, a vibrant inner Sydney neighbourhood with a thriving music, theatre, design and restaurant scene. The Newtown store, no more than a side street nook, fast established itself as a hipster-haunt, pumping our pies and coffee for this bohemian burrow’s residents.
In 2008 founder Christopher Thé, a trained chef and pâtissier, created the Strawberry Watermelon Cake for a friend’s wedding - constructed with layers of dacquiose, watermelon and rose-scented cream. This sweet sensation was an instant hit and quickly rose to fame. The recipe was soon published in Gourmet Traveller, and Black Star also made its way onto Lonely Planet’s Sydney Travel Guide, and in-turn onto the radar of Sydney’s three million plus international tourists.
Then Instagram happened!
2012 was the year Instagram went mainstream, seeing a meteoric rise from 5 million to 50 million users. Black Stars click-then-consume cake, already a Sydney favourite, rode the content wave and was one of the first Australian products to go viral on this burgeoning platform. By early-2013, 300 metre queues outside of the Newtown store became common-sight as the Strawberry Watermelon cake captured international attention. It was the dessert de jour and declared “the world’s most Instagrammed cake.”
Mirroring the Strawberry Watermelon Cake’s success, in May 2013, Dominique Ansel Bakery, in New York's Soho neighbourhood, launched the Cronut, a croissant-doughnut creation. By their third day, a line of over 100 people had formed outside the shop to buy and try.
In 2014 Black Star opened its second store in Rosebery, and its third store in Sydney’s CBD soon followed.
Iconic status confirmed, Black Star Pastry now boasts four bakeries in Newtown, Rosebery, The Entertainment Quarter and Sydney's CBD, shifting 20,000 slices of its Strawberry Watermelon Cake a week. Recent pop-ups in Melbourne, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan were met with a frenzy of interest as local pastry fans got their first taste of Black Star's culinary creations.
And this is just the beginning…