About Breadcraft

Founded 1942


Bob Cockburn

Breadcraft was founded in 1942 as a bakery and confectionery business by the late Harold Cockburn specialising in bread, cakes and pastry goods from its original site in Queen Street, Masterton. The company grew to become the town’s largest bakery and in 1962 moved to new premises in Lincoln Road, which housed its first ‘modern’ plant bakery, producing some 800 loaves per hour.


The following 10 to 15 years saw major changes in the New Zealand baking industry and Breadcraft embraced the new innovations leading to an increased range of quality breads with daily deliveries from their automated plant. The company was the first in the region to introduce sliced packaged bread and this development saw Breadcraft become the Wairarapa's only fully automated plant bread bakery and market leader.

Quality Bakers (NZ) Ltd

In 1968, Breadcraft was one of 5 regional bakeries that formed Quality Bakers (NZ) Ltd. The main aim of the group was to share ideas, seek bulk purchasing agreements and form a common 'brand' and marketing strategy on a national basis. From the initial 5 members the group grew to 23 by the early '80's becoming the nations largest baking group holding 60% of the total plant bread market share.

By 1972 (and now under the management of Harold's son Bob Cockburn), Breadcraft had outgrown the Lincoln Road premises and commissioned the building of a new facility in its present Judds Road site. The new bakery housed a totally automated bread plant capable of 1800 loaves per hour to supply weekly tally of 55,000 bread units, 10,000 buns and 12,000 pies. Staff numbers grew to 12 bakers, 3 administration staff and 4 main delivery drivers.

Throughout the 70's and 80's the company continued to consolidate and grow. During this time Peter Rewi joined the company as CEO of the Breadcraft operation and John Cockburn (Bobs Son) entered as Director of New Products and Development.

1991 saw Breadcraft again 're-tool' with the countries most advanced baking plant capable of producing 35,00 loaves per hour and all under a brand new baking hall doubling the original factory size.

New Directions

Throughout the 90's, Breadcraft focused on adding new products and valuable tally through four based baked food products, resulting in the company becoming one of the most innovative and diversified bakeries in the country. The plant bread market has changed dramatically and Breadcraft has played a major part in meeting these changes with the introduction of specialty products, which include the following: - pita and Lebanese breads, Flour Tortilla, Pikelets, Cake muffins, Frozen Meals, Panini bread and recently Turkish bread. These products can be found nationwide in retail outlets as well as commercial institutions and fast food franchises such as McDonalds, KFC and Burger King.

The company has also 'returned to its roots' and now produced high quality cakes and puddings marketed under the "Cockburn's" brand. Cockburns branded cakes and puddings can be found across the globe in countries such as Australia, USA, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and England.

Most recently, the company won the prestigious Massey University Food Awards with its new '4 Ever Free' branded cakes that exclude the use of any Wheat, Gluten, Dairy and Peanut derivatives designed especially for people with certain dietary requirements but with a taste for all!

During 2003, 3rd generation baker, John Cockburn, and long standing CEO Peter Rewi purchased Breadcraft.

Breadcraft holds the coveted “New Zealand Way” brand membership through the NZ Trade and Development Association (TRADENZ) is a member of the Mew Zealand council and is also Halal approved for cake manufacture. Breadcraft also complies with the Goodman Fielder assessed “Good Manufacturing Standards” code of practices.

60 years on, Breadcraft now employs over 100 staff and produces around 150,000 units each week and is set for further growth in the cake and specialty bread markets with new and innovative products continually under development.