Marty Matassoni & Tom O’Toole
COMPANY: Beechworth Bakery
Ever heard of a Ned Kelly pie? The meaty base topped with an egg, cheese and bacon is the signature dish at Beechworth Bakery and has become so popular, owners Marty Matassoni and Tom O’Toole have had it trademarked. Then there’s the Snickerdoodle, a velvety baked custard tart bulging with raspberries and blueberries, and the Beesting, a bun crammed with apricot jam, the creamiest of custards and crunchy toffee almonds.
To sink your gnashers into one of these beauties, you have to head out into rural Victoria to one of the eight-country bakeries that now make up the Beechworth Bakery group. The Beechworth location was the first, its bread-lined shelves and colourful cake cabinets now iconic for both locals and tourists alike.
When Tom bought the “rat-infested” bakery back in 1984, it was a dilapidated country affair or, as he likes to call it, a “mum-and-pop show”, that had hit hard times. His goal was to turn it around, but he went above and beyond, transforming the bakery into a formidable chain that spreads across regional Victoria. The company now turns over more than A$18 million per year and has 280 staff– a great achievement from such humble beginnings. “There was this rumour going around that I sold drugs because the other bakers couldn’t believe that we could be turning over these figures,” Tom laughs.
He hasn’t done it alone, however. His wife Christine is also part of the team and, for much of the way, he has had the company of Marty Matassoni, who came on board in the 90s when he was still in high school. His parents owned the shoe shop over the road. “I was a pretty skinny little fellow back then and I just started after school, cracking eggs, peeling onions, stacking the drink fridge, just doing all the stuffto get the guys ready for the next morning,” he tells The CEO Magazine.
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