Couple make a crust with store

WHEN Jim and Dianne Turnbull reopened the doors of the Big Dad's Pies at North Ipswich yesterday, it was almost as if the place had never been shut.

The Redbank Plains franchisees, who have worked under the Big Dad's name for the past six years, moved to the Pine Street store in search of an increase in clientele and seem to be onto a good thing.

The North Ipswich store was one of four in town to shut down when Big Dad's founder Stephen Donnelly publicly announced that he had gone broke in October this year.

Since then, with the assistance of new Big Dad's franchise owners the Retail Food Group, the pugnacious franchisees have been able to secure a supplier deal which has resulted in the preservation of that famous Big Dad's taste.

With no publicity and no advertising, Mr and Mrs Turnbull enjoyed an excellent first day's business at their new location yesterday.

“We were quite surprised and encouraged by the reception we've had,” Mr Turnbull said.

“Leading up to its closure this was a very popular store, so we are confident of getting it back to how it was.”

The Turnbulls have promised things will only get better, with a bigger range of food to be introduced to the store in the coming weeks.

In addition to the traditional pies and sausage rolls, there will be healthy sandwiches and salad rolls.

Mrs Turnbull said all the remaining Big Dad's franchisees had suffered from the demise of the four city stores in October.

“For a while we had to get alternative stock in and the quality dropped dramatically – they weren't the same pies.

“But we were lucky the Retail Food Group helped us out and now what we've got is as close to the original recipe as you can get.”

Retail Food Group head of strategy Gary Alford said the reopening of the North Ipswich store was a sign of the Big Dad's brand's stability.

“More compelling is the fact that it has been opened by a current franchisee,” Mr Alford said.

The Retail Food Group remains hopeful of reopening the remaining three vacant Ipswich stores – which include Churchill, Ebbw Vale and Goodna.

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