Melbourne favourite Tarts Anon opens first bricks-and-mortar shop

Melbourne's Tarts Anon has gone from pandemic pivot to permanent shopfront.
Melbourne's Tarts Anon has gone from pandemic pivot to permanent shopfront. Photo: Supplied

Monday nights for dessert-lovers in Melbourne are serious business: that's when Tarts Anon opens pre-orders for tarts baked by an ex-Dinner by Heston pastry chef. They sell out within minutes, but now there's more of the pie to go around. Couple Catherine Way and Gareth Whitton this week opened a Tarts Anon shop in Cremorne that's baking five days a week.

"I think everything has happened in good timing," says Way, a speech pathologist. "Now it's good to do something more familiar to people and fit into their more social lives."

The couple launched the business after Dinner by Heston closed in February 2020 and Whitton found himself out of work in the midst of a hospitality shutdown.

Chef Gareth Whitton and his kitchen team all bring a fine-dining background to the business of tart-making.
Chef Gareth Whitton and his kitchen team all bring a fine-dining background to the business of tart-making. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui

Whitton started out baking 15 tarts at home, then selling out of hundreds of tarts each week on Instagram and, now, welcoming guests into a minimal-looking 15-seat bakery showcasing five different tarts each day.

Familiar favourites like chocolate and caramel and spiced pumpkin will be joined by seasonal specials like fig with leatherwood honey. For the first time, a savoury tart geared to breakfast will also appear. This week's was gruyere custard on top of a bacon and leek financier, encased in the same pâte brisée that's used for all the tarts.

The kitchen employs four other Dinner by Heston chefs. "We use those skills to approach something people are familiar with but we utilise those techniques that some bakeries may not have," says Whitton.

Sweet tarts like this will be joined by a savoury creation for the first time.
Sweet tarts like this will be joined by a savoury creation for the first time. Photo: Supplied

"For some reason people have been really drawn to the way that we're doing it."

The team will be baking sweet tarts throughout the day and the pre-order system will still be in place for those who want to order whole or half tarts, with a choice of two flavours each week.

Coffee comes from neighbours Square One Coffee Roasters.

Open Wed-Sun 8.30am-3pm

29A Gwynne Street, Cremorne, tartsanon.com.au