Big Dad's takes larger trade slice
BEEF, chicken, curry or mushroom pie ?V you name it and Bronwyn Davies has it. The manager of Big Dad's Pies at Goodna, oversees staff who make 10,000 pies each day at the production facility which will soon be expanding to Tasmania. Ms Davies said the production facility in Tasmania would be similar to the one at Goodna. "We've decided to go down there because of the cool climate and because there won??t be a lot of competition," Ms Davies said. "We??re crawling before we??re walking. In time to come we will be heading to Melbourne and New South Wales ?V state by state." Ms Davies said when the first shop opened five years ago staff were only making 300 pies a day. About 69 years ago Big Dad, Noel Donnelly,started his pastry cooking career in Toowoomba when aged 13. He was born in Texas, a small regional town in western Queensland. When his first grandchild came along, Noel became the "Big Dad", just as his own father and grandfather had. In 2002 Stephen Donnelly, Noel??s son opened the first Big Dad's Pies outlet in Ipswich and within two years opened a further six sites. Ms Davies believes customer satisfaction is a "must" for the business to succeed. The Goodna outlet has operated for two years producing and distributing pies throughout Queensland. Franchises have been expanded because of public demand. "We have 31 stores throughout Queensland," Ms Davies said. "There are three new stores at the Gold Coast, the rest are on the north-side and Toowoomba. "The first store opened at Limestone Street in Ipswich a few years ago now and everything seems to have gone well." As the sweet smell of pastry engulfed the store, Ms Davies said the production facility would "always remain in Ipswich". "We have outgrown this facility here so we are looking into a state-of-the-art facility but just have to find the right location again in the Ipswich area," she said. Ms Davies said baking the pies and sweet pastries in Ipswich was something to make the community proud. "We are a well-known brand and will be Australia-wide in the long run," she said. "In time to come we will be exporting. We are opening up in Tasmania in six months," she said. Ms Davies admitted to eating the odd pie during her lunch break. "I really like the Big Dad's Special. It has steak, bacon, cheese, onion and a whole egg in it," she said. "After you have one pie you have to go back for more. I know what goes into the pies and it's 100% beef, baked fresh every day." About 40 Ipswich people work at the facility, some starting their shift at three o'clock each morning. "Each store sends in their orders which we make up and distribute every day," Ms Davies said. Big Dad's Pies received the 2006 Bremer Institute of TAFE Business of the Year Award.