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Ideas cooked up in the old bakehouse

A new co-working space for professional creatives is taking shape in the old bakehouse building on Wakefield Street in Featherston.

The Bakehouse is the idea of three friends – artist and designer, Cheryl Gallaway, rural IT expert and DJ, Daniel Millar, and marionette – and film –maker, Steffen Kreft.

They have each come to the project with different but compatible needs and requirements for a shared workspace.

Millar, who recently moved to South Wairarapa from Wellington six months ago, works fully remotely and from “poking his nose around Featherston”, felt there was a gap for a space like this in town.

Gallaway had wanted a space for her design practice “since forever,” but struggled to find anything suitable off Featherston’s main street.

Kreft, who commutes by bike to Featherston along the Five Towns Trail with his dog [who completes half the journey in a trailer], was looking for workspace separate from the tiny home he shares with his partner in Greytown.

The Bakehouse building had been empty for a couple of years when Millar found it, and the trio is now working with the landlord to gradually renovate the multi-room property and plant the garden.

“There’s a little bit of work that still needs to be done before the second rooms get properly opened up,” Millar said.

“But what complements that is we can have organic growth, and because we’ve got organic growth we don’t have to lease the whole building initially and take that financial hit.

“We can stagger the growth as we grow. But I would expect that in the next maybe three to four months hopefully, the next room will be fully operational.”

While the Bakehouse offers co-working space, the group thinks it will function a little differently from the model typically found in towns and cities in New Zealand, including in Carterton and Martinborough with 3mile and 51 Jellicoe.

“‘Community’ is a big part of the space,” Gallaway said. “Fostering that, not just our community but as part of the wider community as well.”

For Millar, the versatile nature of the space is part of that vision.

“Being able to hold it as a space for pop-up events or weekend art galleries or for a high school band that wants to have their first performance or something like that,” he said.

“Just being open to a flexible space that anyone can use that’s relatively cheap.”

Marie Clare Andrews, who opened Wairarapa’s first co-working space, 3mile in Carterton, welcomed the new facility.

“It’s awesome there is more co-working space,” she said. “It makes sense. The communities are very different.”

The Bakehouse team is excited about what the future holds.

“We are very open to any energy that gets brought with an idea,” Millar said.

The Bakehouse Collective open evening is on Friday, September 8, 5pm-8pm. For more information, contact [email protected]

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