Due to popular demand, Hilary Schubert-Jones and her husband, Nathan, have set up a permanent location in the CBD to satiate the city’s demand for gluten- and dairy-free desserts that don’t compromise on quality.
Nathan Bakes takes its vegan cakes to bricks and mortar in the CBD
The ethos behind Nathan Bakes – the new 100 per cent vegan and gluten-free cupcake café in Adelaide – is pretty clear. Written in the middle of the chalkboard above the cashier: “life is too short for bad cake.”
Hilary Schubert-Jones and her husband, Nathan, are happy to discuss this motto with people, too.
2/39 Grenfell Street, Adelaide 5000
Mon-Fri: 7:30am ’til 5:30pm
“You can find vegan desserts and you can find gluten-free desserts, but for us to be able to find vegan and gluten free – especially good baked goods – it’s a challenge,” says Hilary.
Nathan Bakes was founded as a response to this challenge.
Nathan Bakes got its start selling dairy- and gluten-free offerings temporarily at the Central Markets. But due to the limitations surrounding stall estate and the demand from customers (“we were baking cupcakes and as soon as we put them out people were buying them,” says Hilary) the couple decided to sign a 15-year lease for a brick-and-mortar space just off Grenfell Street.
The sun-lit café, which features wrap-around windows and pockets of succulents, offers 12 vegan and gluten-free cupcakes, as well as hot beverages. Hilary recommends the “decadent hug in a mug” because, as she rightly points out, “we’re nearing winter.”
For those ambivalent about what cupcake to pair it with, a wheel can make that decision for you. The wheel has 12 numbers and each number corresponds to a cupcake. Spin the wheel and the cake gods will decide your fate.
What makes Nathan Bakes truly different from its contemporaries, Hilary explains, is its desire not to settle.
“For far too long people have had to kind of just put up with bad food,” she says.
With Nathan having been a pastry chef for 11 years, the Schubert-Joneses believe his classical training, adapted to fit the modern considerations of inclusivity around dietary requirements, results in a higher quality product.
The operation also prides itself on not using any artificial flavours. “Like the strawberry balsamic cupcake,” says Nathan, “it’s flavoured with a reduction of strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. That’s it.”
However, the duo doesn’t plan on only sticking to cupcakes. They want to add tarts, biscuits and some savoury options – like muffins and quiches – to their roster, too, as well as more seating options.
The ultimate aim, though, is just to create desserts that make people happy.
“We run a business to enjoy our lives and do what we want,” says Hilary, “which is to bring cake to people.”