In a modern version of the Biblical loaves and fishes, Pixel Bakehouse is baking bread to feed hungry unemployed people on the Gold Coast.
With thousands of jobs lost recently on the Gold Coast, many people are doing it tough. For some, excluded from government benefits due to citizenship, there’s seemingly no relief apart from charity.
Pixel Bakehouse owners, Wil and Dani Pearce, decided that they would step up and spend every Thursday baking loaves to feed the hungry.
Having worked in the food industry around the world, the couple made the Gold Coast their home over seven years ago. They started Pixel Bakehouse and soon achieved success, developing a regular clientele who love their bread, sold at the HOTA and Palm Beach Farmers’ Markets and Door 50, Mermaid Beach.
“We both have a passion for great bread. It is flour, water and salt. That’s it. It’s simple, yet extremely difficult to make consistently well,” Wil tells us.
“Every time we go to the bakery, we really do try our best to make the best bread we can, then we don’t charge the earth for it. So, we are very grateful when people light up and tell us it’s the best bread they have tried. It means the world to us.”
All was good… until COVID-19 struck.
It soon became clear that things were getting really tough for a lot of people; rough enough that Wil and Dani made a decision about giving back to the community that they love.
“We believe bread is a staple, not a luxury and it should be affordable and available to everybody. We have been lucky enough that we have been able to put a few bob away for a rainy day, and well, it’s bloody pouring.
We looked at our situation and saw that we will be able to weather the storm that is COVID-19, but there are a lot of people out there who can’t. We heard through a few customers that they know of families losing jobs, no savings, living week to week etc. So, we thought, ‘We have flour, we have time, and we have the ability to make bread for people.’ So, we did.”
Late in March, Wil and Dani started baking a few hundred loaves every Thursday to donate to charities who could distribute the bread to those who really need it:
Nerang Neighbourhood Community Centre, who make up boxes of food up and give it to those who need it.
Mermaid Community Centre, who give people free meals. Mermaid is our home, so we like to help our local area when we can.
Hearts of Purple, who help families and people who are broken from domestic violence. They also look for other charities that feed homeless etc.
New Life Foodbarn, who make boxes up (to feed a family for a week) and sell them at $50 to those that can afford it. This helps a lot of people.
“This is all funded by us,” Dani says. “We are making approximately 250 loaves on a Thursday but that will increase. We do not take any money and we pay for all the flour. It is just a day we chose that we have off where we can bake bread and give it away.
We were going to do this for the duration of the pandemic, but after seeing the gratitude from every single charity who we gave bread to, we decided to make this a regular part of our bakery. They really do need the bread, and they really do help people,” the couple say.
‘What goes around comes around’, the saying goes. We hope that the Gold Coast public remembers this kindness long after COVID-19 becomes just a faded memory.