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A Day In The Life With Kate Reid, Founder Of Lune Croissanterie

A Day In The Life

Kate Reid is the brains behind Lune Croissanterie (the croissants the New York Times famously heralded as the best in the world) – but her path to success has been anything but linear.

Before her meticulously crafted pastries were drawing legendary lines around the block, Kate worked as an engineer in the world of Formula One – a ‘dream job’ she’d been chasing since she was 13. In fact, she didn’t really discover her love for croissants until a life-changing trip to Paris.

It’s been a decade since Kate started Lune as a one-woman show in Elwood. These days though, her business has grown into its own ‘croissant Formula One team’, with 120 employees across five locations, and now, a new book Lune: Croissants All Day, All Night, sharing Kate’s iconic recipes re-imagined for a home kitchen.

See what a typical day in her life looks like below!

21st November, 2022

Lune Croissanterie founder and co-owner Kate Reid! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

After working in Paris at Du Pain et des Idees, Kate fell in love with croissants and set about creating ‘the ultimate croissant recipe’, herself. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

She co-founded Lune Croissanterie with her brother Cam Reid in 2012! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

There’s rarely a day that customers aren’t lining up around the corner for Lune’s legendary croissants. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

It’s a three-day process to make each croissant. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

Lune’s ‘croissant Formula One team’ is made up of 120 employees. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

Kate starts her days by walking to the Lune CBD store to check in and do a bit of quality control. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

Rows upon rows of croissants, ready to be sold to Lune’s dedicated customers. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

After checking in with the Lune CBD team, Kate heads to Lune Fitzroy! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

Shop Kate’s debut book, Lune: Croissants All Day, All Night online now and at all good bookstores. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

Christina Karras
Monday 21st November 2022

‘The croissant is a pastry that’s just as much science and engineering as it is baking’ – Kate Reid

In her own words, Lune Croissanterie founder and co-owner Kate Reid is a perfectionist. She has that special sort of laser-focus and drive that we expect from artists, CEOs or Olympic athletes. It’s a trait that’s probably knocked her down almost as many times as its built her back up, and the same reason she was drawn to Formula One, and croissants.

Kate fell in love with the spectacle of F1 as a teenager, and studied aerospace engineering with the sole intention of becoming an engineer in one of about a dozen F1 teams worldwide. By her early 20s, she’d packed up her life in Melbourne to work as an aerodynamicist for Williams Racing in the UK.

‘But when I finally found myself in my “dream job”, and discovered that the reality of working as an engineer in F1 did not match the expectations I had built up over a decade, the reality of the situation led to depression, and eventually an eating disorder,’ Kate says.

‘Ironically, when suffering from an eating disorder, all you can think about is food – because your body is starving it’s constantly sending signals to your brain that you need sustenance. And, trust me, you don’t dream about lettuce! You start to fantasise about the food that you love the most. For me, that was baked goods.’

As an escape from her job’s toxic culture, she found joy in baking, and in sharing her creations with others. She recalls being surprised how something as simple as a slice of cake or a perfect cookie could bring others moments of happiness. It was a ‘revelation’ that stuck with her, even long after leaving her career to return home and focus on her health, when she started working in local bakeries and cafes in Melbourne.

But it wasn’t until she travelled to Paris, where she dined (and then worked) at traditional bakery Du Pain et des Idees that she really ‘fell in love’ with the croissant: ‘a pastry that is as much science and engineering as it is baking,’ Kate emphasises.

She knew these buttery, magical kinds of croissants were missing from Melbourne’s coffee scene, and got to work on a making the ultimate croissant recipe.

‘I am my biggest critic, potentially to my own detriment,’ Kate says. ‘Looking back, I’m lucky that I even reached a point with the croissants where I was happy to start selling them at all!’

She started Lune in 2012 as a hole-in-the-wall wholesaler and when her brother, Cam Reid, joined the business a year later, it became the croissant-only bakery that everyone couldn’t stop talking about. Stories of customers lining up as early as 5am (the store opened at 8am) and arguing in line (they were often sold out before 9am) are still legendary in Melbourne. The queues aren’t quite as crazy these days, but no matter what time of day it is, you still have to line up.

Ten years later, Kate’s latest achievement is her cookbook, Lune: Croissants All Day, All NightShe personally adapted more than 60-cult favourites from Lune’s recipes in her own home, making them work within the limitations of everyday, home kitchens for Lune fans worldwide. It’s filled with stories behind the recipes, beautiful visuals, and tips and tricks – and because Kate tested each one herself, you know they’ll turn out perfect.

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Kate’s worked as a Formula One engineer with Williams Racing in the UK before pivoting to baking. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

Kate’s black Labrador, Lily. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

Napier Quarter is a regular haunt for Kate. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

Back in her Fitzroy, Melbourne, apartment – where she does even more work! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

Lily and Kate. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

First Thing

My alarm is set for 6:20am every day. I walk to the Lune CBD store in Melbourne with Lily (my black Labrador). It’s my chance to say hello to the crew in the city and check in with them, do a bit of quality control of the day’s pastries. By the time we get home I’ve already clocked my 10,000 steps, so I feel set up for the rest of my day!

I normally function well in the mornings, but that’s pretty dependent on getting my walk in with Lily. I find that a good brisk walk is not only good for physical health, I also treat it as a bit of a moving meditation, where I can clear my head and start planning out my day.

For someone who started a bakery, and spent the first six years or so with a daily alarm set for pre 3am, these days I flat out don’t do early mornings anymore (maybe that’s a sign that I’m getting old!!)

Morning

I arrive at Lune’s office on Rose Street, Fitzroy between 9:30 and 10am, but I consider my walk into the city to see the team the unofficial start to my work day. The first few tasks of the day include having a coffee, checking emails and checking in with the HQ team. 

Lunchtime

I don’t have lunch every day – if I’m hungry, I eat. It’s often a ham and gruyere croissant on the run, but if I feel like actually breaking for lunch I’ll wander around the corner to Napier Quarter and have a couple of plates there.

Afternoon

The afternoons are dominated by meetings. SO MANY MEETINGS these days. I’m a pretty energetic person, and I don’t like to sit still or not be busy, so in general I still feel pretty energised by the afternoon.

Evening

I typically leave the office anywhere between 3pm and 5pm, but will continue to work when I get home for another couple of hours – sometimes they are the most productive hours, because there’s no one around asking me questions!!

I eat out quite a lot – I live in Fitzroy and we are so blessed with the most amazing places to eat. But if I cook at home it’s typically pasta, or a steak, or fish – pretty simple.

To unwind, I love doing yoga. I’ve been going to the same instructor for 14 years now. She’s the absolute best, and I always feel 100% better after doing one of her classes. I try to get to three classes a week. Otherwise, I also just love catching up with my best friend who is one of my biggest supporters, and easily the funniest, kindest and most talented person on the planet.

Last Thing

I’m not very good at going to bed, and I’m bit notorious for falling asleep on the couch, which is a bad habit I wish I could break. I try to be in bed by between 10:30 and 11pm. I definitely need more sleep than I used to, but again, probably just a sign that I’m getting old!!

Right now I am listening to, watching, and reading…

Watching: The Capture, The White Lotus, From Scratch – a bit of good old British detective drama, a bit of kook, and a bit of romance…

Reading: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – but I’m finding it hard to get into it…

Listening: I don’t really listen to anything at home. I think it’s because I’m surrounded by “café” type white noise all day, so when I get home I love the silence. But… I do absolutely LOVE belting out Taylor Swift when I’m driving. Talk about a female powerhouse.

A philosophy I live and work by is…

Work: Do everything to the very best of your ability. You’re responsible for your own success.

Life: Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. This one is non-negotiable.

Something I’ve learned the hard way is…

Just because something doesn’t turn out as you expected it to doesn’t mean it’s a failure. It’s simply an opportunity to learn.

Shop Kate’s debut book, Lune: Croissants All Day, All Night online now and at all good bookstores.

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