Mark Allen, a native Australian, started the business in 2001. He says it is the only authentic Australian bakery in the United States.
"We use old-fashioned traditional methods for authentic Australian food," he said. His business partners are Neville Steel, a childhood acquaintance, and Wendy Bayer.
Sunday marked Allen's 20th year in America. He owned a racecar company in Australia and said it was that business that originally brought him here. Allen said he liked what he saw and said, "I envisioned setting up a car company but started a bakery instead," he said.
Allen said one of the reasons he opened the restaurant is because there were no places to get authentic Australian food. With dishes such as the Croc Hunter Chicken and Down Under Beef, he brings not only the tastes of his home country, but culture and a lot of fun.
Veggie pies, quiches, breakfast wraps, salads and desserts are among the many additional menu items offered at the restaurant. However, Australian meat pies are the draw.
There was no place for an authentic meat pie in town, Allen recalls. Now, the Marietta restaurant offers at least 26 varieties.
Allen, 51, said he has been making them for 37 years. The daily output is between 100 and 1,000. He said the amount depends on the time of year.
The traditional meat pie is made with steak, gravy and secret seasoning. Allen says, "Even Neville doesn't know goes in them." He said this meat pie is the most popular.
Other varieties include shepherd's pie, marked with a creamy mashed potato topping, which Allen describes as "comfort food." Another pie, the "Ned Kelly," has beef, egg, cheese and bacon. Allen says the steak and kidney pie is for the traditionalist.
Allen said he ships pies all over the U.S., including the Australian Embassy in Washington, D.C. He said celebrities such as Russell Crowe, the band Linkin Park and Leigh Diffey from the Speed Channel have frequented the eatery.
In addition to the authentic Australian food, Allen makes it a point to share and display the culture of his native land. Items such as Marmite and ginger beer are for sale.
Not only does the food reflect culture, but the decorations do as well. Koalas and didgeridoos flanks shelves and flags representing different countries hang from the ceiling.
Allen and Steel share knowledge of their country with local children through the Cultural Education Program. The pair goes to area elementary schools and teaches students about Australia.
Allen said the children like to hear the accent, but they also learn about animals, food and more. Another highlight of the visits is the playing of the didgeridoo. Allen said, "We go whenever we're needed."
The bakery is also home to a weekly bluegrass jam on Tuesday nights. Allen said it's the largest in Georgia and they have been having it at the bakery for nearly four years. He said 20 to 65 people come out to play and listen.
He said Bayer's husband wanted a place to play and Allen let them use the bakery. "Next thing you know, it got out of control," he said. "It's a lot of fun."
Allen said he has been back to Australia 46 times since he first came here. He still has family there, and lives in DeKalb County with his wife and stepson.
A second restaurant is located at 463 Flat Shoals Avenue in Atlanta. Allen said he is looking to add a third location by the end of the year.
"We want create a haven here," he said. "Like walking back into country bakery in Australia: That's what we want."
For more information on Australian Bakery, visit www.australianbakerycafe.com or call (678) 797-6222.