Two iconic Kiwi baking brands, Chelsea Sugar and Edmonds, have joined forces to create Auckland’s newest visitor attraction – the Chelsea Bay Visitor and Food Education Centre.
Located on a beautiful harbourside site at the Chelsea Sugar factory in Birkenhead on Auckland’s North Shore, Chelsea Bay opened first time to the public on Saturday 27th October.
The Chelsea Bay Visitor and Food Education Centre encourages New Zealanders and overseas visitors to rediscover the simple joy of baking, learn more about where their food comes from, and take a step back in time to experience the 134-year history of Chelsea Sugar’s heritage site.
Key drawcards include:
- Chelsea Sugar Factory Tours – factory tours are returning! Travel by train to see first-hand how different Chelsea products are made on the weekday tours while the factory is fully-operational.
- Sugar at Chelsea Bay Bakery and Eatery – enjoy a coffee, brunch or glass of wine while taking in views of the Waitemata Harbour. Operated by successful restaurateurs Fran Mazza and Aaron Carson.
- Interactive Education Zone – explore the history of Chelsea and Edmonds in a state-of-the-art interactive education zone and take a digital baking journey with iconic cook Annabelle White.
- Edmonds Baking School – learn how to bake in a custom-made kitchen. A schools programme is currently offered, with adult evening and weekend classes to begin soon.
Children will also enjoy the new playground opposite Sugar Café and all visitors (including dogs on a leash) will be able to stretch their legs while walking around the grounds of Chelsea Heritage Park.
Bernard Duignan, General Manager NZ Sugar, says it’s estimated Chelsea Bay will be visited by more than 60,000 people over the next 12 months.
“Chelsea Bay is the culmination of more than ten years of planning and development, and we’re very excited to finally be able to open our doors to the public.
“We recognise that as the only sugar manufacturer in New Zealand, we are in a unique position to be able to show people what’s involved in the production of our ingredients, and also celebrate the tradition of baking that has helped define us as New Zealanders.”
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff officially opened the Visitor Centre this afternoon, in front of a long list of iconic New Zealand bakers, foodies and celebrities.
Mr Duignan concludes: “Whether it’s entertainment, education, or simply a spot to relax and take in the beautiful surrounds of the Waitemata, Chelsea Bay has something for everyone – from families looking to entertain the kids on a weekend to cruise ship tourists wanting to learn something unique about our city. We can’t wait to welcome the world to Chelsea Bay.”