Cult North Melbourne bakery Beatrix is closing in August

Natalie Paull of Beatrix in her North Melbourne shop, which she will close early next month.
Natalie Paull of Beatrix in her North Melbourne shop, which she will close early next month. Photo: Caitlin Mills

Beatrix bakery is closing its tiny North Melbourne shop next month, ending more than a decade of sugar-coated treats and saddening scores of fans across Melbourne. Owner Natalie Paull announced the news on social media on Wednesday night, explaining that two years of pandemic-related change had taken its toll on the small hospitality business.

"While I adore my shop and have always had a supportive and wonderful team around me, I run this cakehouse as a solo owner... and I think I am a little puffed and need a hard break after 12 years," she wrote.

Fellow hospitality businesses and professionals responded with messages of support, gratitude and congratulations for what Paull built at Beatrix.

The Queensberry Street bakery quickly gathered a following for its impressive cake displays that featured towering sponges, fudgy brownies, decadent layer cakes and an array of pies, cookies and other treats. Savoury items, such as crusty ciabatta rolls with generous fillings, also have their devotees. Overwhelm when placing your order was part of the Beatrix experience.

The tiny shop was known for its collection of retro egg beaters but the main draw was the cake display.
The tiny shop was known for its collection of retro egg beaters but the main draw was the cake display. Photo: Jesse Marlow

Paull stated that she is taking a break from Beatrix, not retiring the bakery for good, with plans for a second cookbook in 2024, pop-ups and a business for whole cake orders. Her first book, Beatrix Bakes, was published in early 2020, unintentionally becoming a lockdown baking bible and selling out multiple print runs.

Come spring, the book may become essential for anyone wanting their fix of baked cheesecake, "tart-a-misu" or the pistachio and lemon curd layer cake.

In the past month, at least five other Melbourne hospitality businesses, including Miss Katie's Crab Shack and YakiTori Bar, have announced they are closing, several prompted by the tough economic environment bars and restaurants are facing after two difficult years.

The bakery's last day of trade has yet to be confirmed but Paull says it will be in about four weeks.

688 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne, 0403 698 836, beatrixbakes.com