South Yarra’s Tivoli Road Bakery has new owners, with founders Michael and Pippa James confirming they have sold the business.

Little Virtual are the new owners of the business, who are also behind Melbourne-based Little Cupcakes.

“We reached a point where we decided we did want to take a break, so we put it on the market,” Pippa told Hospitality. “We came off the back of a really full-on year last year, so we did scale back a few things and then we just thought, ‘Let’s fully scale back’. We felt like it grew so quickly and it almost took on a life of its own at a certain point.”

It will be business as usual for Tivoli Road Bakery, with all assets turned over to the new owners.

“They’ve purchased everything – all the recipes, the branding, social media, the website, and all of that,” says Pippa. “Key staff are staying and the [new owner’s] intention is not to change the offering.”

The bakery will also continue to use the same suppliers, which means the products should remain the same. “Our suppliers are hugely important to us and they’re a big part of what the product is, so it was important for us,” says Pippa.

Michael and Pippa bought MoVida Bakery before launching Tivoli as a new concept in 2013. The pair spoke to Hospitality about the success of their bakery earlier this year, which is not only renowned for their baked goods, but also for supporting local producers.

Michael and Pippa will officially leave Tivoli mid-November and plan to travel and study in the United States and Canada.

“We did make a decision not to make any decisions until we’ve had some downtime,” says Pippa. “We’ve booked a couple of camping holidays and Michael has applied for a course at the San Francisco Baking Institute. He’s also been invited to potentially teach a class in Toronto.”

After they return from their travels, Pippa and Michael say they will most likely start thinking about next steps in 2019. “In the middle of next year, we might start to put some serious thought into what might happen next,” says Pippa. “Michael definitely wants to bake and we work well together. There’s a very good chance we will do something again and make it a bit simpler.

“We will go in a lot more confident about what can be done and probably make things simpler so it works for us as well as us working for it.”

It’s also important to note that this isn’t a sad or negative story by any means. Pippa and Michael have a young family and are taking a step back to enjoy time with their children. “We made a choice to invest time in [our family] while we can,” says Pippa. “It’s not about it being too full on, it’s just about stepping back and making some assessments about life.”

Image credit: Bonnie Savage


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