Horace and Edwin Bastings arrived in Victoria in 1849 and after a period on the goldfields, established themselves in Northcote. Between 1852 and 1854 they purchased a number of properties in Northcote and in 1854 they built a two storey general store just north of Westbourne Grove at 213 High Street.
On the 1st of August 1854 the store became the first official post office for Northcote with Edwin Bastings serving as postmaster. The store established itself as the key social outlet for many of the early settlers.
After Bastings left the store in 1885 it was taken over by a fruiter. In 1891 the property was bought by Ben Johnson who opened a bakery.
For several years Johnson struggled to make a success of the bakery, but with hard work and perseverance he succeeded and by 1902 Johnson had turned the small bakery into the fourth biggest in the state. He did this with the aid of lucrative state contracts including Kew Asylum and Melbourne Benevolent Asylum. In its heyday the bakery was consuming 14 tons of flour per week.
The property was demolished in 1962.
City of Northcote (1933). Northcote Jubilee celebrations 1883 – 1933 : souvenir & official program. Northcote: Author.
Lemon, Andrew (1983). The Northcote Side of the River. North Melbourne: Hargreen
Northcote Leader (Northcote, Vic. : 1882 -)