South Yarra's Tivoli Road Bakery has new owners

Baker Michael James has sold Tivoli Road Bakery in South Yarra.
Baker Michael James has sold Tivoli Road Bakery in South Yarra. Photo: Eddie Jim

One of Melbourne's most respected bakeries, Tivoli Road Bakery in South Yarra, has changed hands, with Little Virtual, the company behind Little Cupcakes bakeries, taking over the ovens.

Founding baker Michael James has shaped the business since it opened as MoVida Bakery in April 2012. He and wife Pippa bought the business in 2013, developing a following for their uncompromising approach to ingredient sourcing and traditional methods.

Tivoli Road Bakery's hot cross buns.
Tivoli Road Bakery's hot cross buns. Photo: Tim Grey

It was seen most starkly every Easter, when the queue for their hot cross buns, made with organic fruit and fresh spices, would snake up the street. The buns were named Melbourne's best in Good Food's 2016 tasting.

Pippa James says they're handing over their recipes, their Instagram account and their know-how, and will be on call for several more weeks to help smooth the transition. Key staff are staying with the business.

They are leaving with no immediate plans beyond travel and study in the United States. "We made a decision not to make any decisions because we want to go into any new business with clear heads," she says. But expect any new venture to focus on bread and pastries, with local, ethical and sustainable being the key words.

Sourdough at Tivoli Road.
Sourdough at Tivoli Road. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

They will finish up at Tivoli Road Bakery in mid-November.