Sugar, spice and everything nice: the Gold Coaster cooking up a storm

The woman behind this booming bakery is one tough cookie.

Dec 13, 2023, updated Dec 21, 2023
Tarte Beach House

Tarte Beach House

Gold Coasters will recognise the name Chloe Watts from her previous business,  Paddock Bakery, but it is her two latest ventures – Tarte Bakery & Café and Tarte Beach House – which is the icing on the cake.

Two Tartes? Read on. Tarte Bakery & Café at Burleigh Heads, which opened in 2020, aims to transport guests to a stylish eatery in West Village New York and is renowned for its French pastries made inhouse.

Meanwhile, Tarte Beach House at Currumbin, launched in August this year, is a combination of Paris meets The Hamptons with a more refined lunch venue and extensive alcohol list.

Tarte Owner Chloe Watts

“The concept of the original one in Burleigh Heads was a representation of who I am in my travels and what I’m passionate about and love and that’s really good quality food, traditionally done,” Watts said.

“The bottom line is to deliver really high-quality food in a beautiful environment. It brings me a lot of joy to sit in my own venues.

“I call Burleigh Heads my city slicker while the Currumbin venue is more about exposure to the ocean. There are some amazing venues on the water on the Gold Coast but they are little bit more upscale. I wanted to create something that’s accessible to everyone.”

Tarte Bakery

All items at both venues are made inhouse and include gourmet bagels, tartines, sandwiches, salads and coffee blends.

Watts cut her teeth in London, working with a top private chef, where she notably cooked for Duran Duran’s bass guitarist John Taylor and his wife Gela Nash-Taylor, serving dishes on none other than Napoleon’s antique dining plates and King George’s table.

“I’m very drawn to high-quality food items without too much complication and I think bakery goods are such a good representation of that. They are not overcomplicated, it is the technique behind it that makes it something very special,” Watts said.

“I spent a lot of time in New York and London and Paris and they exemplify that ode to quality from simple ingredients.

“My main motivation for travelling to these places was to set up a portfolio of ideas. I would go to a restaurant and order four or five plates of food on my own. I got a lot of exposure to some really good food.”

Elegant simplicity is on the menu here

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Watts, who returned to the Gold Coast seven years ago, said what sets her businesses apart from her competitors was her focus on freshness.

“The concept of glad wrapping food for the next day just doesn’t exist for us. Our attention to quality is paramount. We’ve got high standards of perfection,” she said.

“I came back from overseas to an incredibly small town that has some of the best food like Melbourne and Sydney but on a smaller scale.

“The Gold Coast is a culture that prioritises breakfast and lunch based on that early morning rising. We want to hit every aspect of that.

“Having travelled to a lot of countries on the planet it just doesn’t get any better than here.”

Fresh food and great views at Tarte Beach House

Watts, who employs 130 people across the two venues, has described herself as a “mum with a business, not a businesswoman with a child.”

The mother of a two-year-old said future plans included “having another baby and then I’m sure you’ll see more from us.”

“You have to have a plan but I’m also a big believer in following the universe and rolling with the punches,” she said.

“My whole ethos in this life is to be honest and kind.”

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