It shocked and saddened me to read in the Dominion Post last Saturday that the owner of Elite Bakery in Victoria Street, Wellington had died of a heart attack on March 4 2010.
Saroun Lach was 51 years old and died after another long day in the bakery.
Fiona Kidman wrote the obituary for the Dom Post telling how Saroun and his wife bought the bakery (it’s original location was in Alicetown) without a clue how to bake. Their experience was so lacking that the Bakels sales representative who supplied the pastry gave them a lesson in pie-making.
Six months later Saroun won best pie in the annual Bakels pie competition. The following year he was named Supreme Piemaker of New Zealand. Visitors to the bakery cannot fail to see the walls and shelves festooned with trophies and certificates. He won time and time again.
I ate there on a too-regular basis all through 2009 – their steak and mushroom pies were absolutely delicious. And then I introduced my twin boys to the delights of a good pie – they identified, and rightly so, the Elite Bakery as being the best pie shop in town, if not the country.
I never met Saroun, but I was served by his wife, and by his mother-in-law many times. And on Saturday mornings if I happened to take my children there his daughters always seemed to be happily unloading baking supplies out of a van.
Our condolences go to Saroun’s family and friends. I hope the bakery continues on and wins more awards in his honour.