Henry’s Bakery Cafe has been a family business since Derek Lawson established the North Coast’s first Hot Bread Shop back in 1979, at 74 Keen Street.

This was the start of an era where the supply of bread shifted from large centralised manufacturers supplying corner stores and supermarkets, to an option for consumers to buy a more interesting variety of breads, baked before their eyes.

Why “Henry’s”? Well, Derek Lawson started the business, and anyone with a surname Lawson invariably had the nick name “Henry”, thanks to Henry Lawson, the famous Australian writer and bush poet. So quite simply – Henry’s Hot Bread sounded better than Derek’s Hot Bread.

The business evolved and expanded to include cakes pies and pastries, also relocating to the current location in the heart of Lismore’s CBD, at 87 Keen Street, in the 1980’s.

Derek’s son, Michael, joined the team in 1989, ensuring the business remained in family hands for another generation. This moment marked the family’s fourth consecutive generation working in the baking industry.

The photo caption shows Frank Lawson and his son Keith (Derek’s father), in front of the Willaura Tea Rooms, Victoria, in the 1920’s. This was an era when the residence was next door to the bakery; bakers mixed dough by hand, used wood fired ovens, and made their own yeast.

Four generations have seen dynamic changes in the industry, however in many ways there has been a full circle and today we operate more like in the 1920’s than perhaps any time since, because traditional methods mean high quality product.

Combine this fact with our renovation to incorporate our cafe in the 1990’s, so becoming “Henry’s Bakery Cafe”… and the business is really a contemporary version of the 1920’s Willaura Bakery and Tea Rooms.


Most recent Awards

2017 Bread Champion  – North Coast National


2016 Bread Champion  – North Coast National

2015 Finalist – Northern River region NSW Business Chamber

2015 1st Place Hospitality Award for Excellence – Lismore Chamber of Commerce Business Awards

2015 Multiple Places in North Coast National Bread Show