Pie & Pastry Paradise team members Grace Berkhout, Russell Johnson, Shaun Groves and Emma Tickner.
Pie & Pastry Paradise team members Grace Berkhout, Russell Johnson, Shaun Groves and Emma Tickner. Joy Butler

Award-winning bakery goes from strength to strength

AWARD winning pies, commitment and investing in their team is the secret to success for Pie and Pastry Paradise who have celebrated 17 years in business.

The store has grown from a pie shop at Pialba to a fully-fledged bakery/cafe at two locations.

Owners Nic and Jodie Berkhout said evolving their business to adapt to emerging trends, and looking at the business from all aspects, was key to their success.

"We've just celebrated our first year at Urangan and 17 years at Pialba," Jodie said.

 

Pie & Pastry Paradise at 9 Main St, Pialba.
Pie & Pastry Paradise at 9 Main St, Pialba. Joy Butler

"It takes a lot of hard work and you can't do it without your team, you really need to invest your time into them too."

The Berkhouts' passion for baking is evident through Nic's rich family history and their love for creating not only pies and sweets but now artisan bread.

"Nic's a fourth-generation baker, he learnt from his dad, and our daughter Grace is fifth generation, baking is definitely a passion," Jodie said.

Pie and Pastry Paradise's expansion into a new purpose-built baking facility has enabled the team to introduce an authentic artisan bread range to Hervey Bay.

"For instance, we use a starter dough, which is a fermented mixture of flour and water, containing a colony of micro-organisms including wild yeast and acid loving bacteria, it's from this starter that we make our poolish," Jodie said.

"Poolish is a portion of bread dough that's made several hours in advance of mixing the final dough.

"It gives the bread more flavour and a longer shelf life."

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Production manager Russ Johnson said the main elements they aimed for was flavour and quality.

"Our bread is baked fresh every day and because of the poolish we use, it has better flavour and keeping quality," Russ said.

"We make sour dough using the traditional three-day process where we use a live starter which we need to feed and maintain.

"Then we use that to build our own bread over the second day and then bake it on the third day."

Russ said by following the three-day process, it increased the bread's flavour and nutritional value.

"You're not just getting a sour product, you're getting a product that has probiotics in it.

"It's also low GI which is better for diabetics and people who don't digest gluten well.

"Because of the way it's processed, it breaks down the ingredients that are harder to digest."

He said added health benefits of authentically made sour dough bread was the acid that naturally occurs in the process.

"Most sour dough loaves last four or five days after buying it, they won't go mouldy and they'll still be great for toasting."

"The acid increases the nutritional value of the flour we use.

"It makes it easier for the body to break down and absorb the nutrients used in the bread."

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The same care and skill goes into making their award-winning pies which again, took out more top gongs at the Great Aussie Pie Competition held this month.

"Won another two medals at the Great Aussie Pie Contest held in Melbourne," Jodie said.

"We won a silver medal for our Curry Steak Pie and a bronze medal for our vegan spicy lentil pie."

Diners can look forward to other tasty items on the menu including fresh salads, sandwiches, wraps and fruit salads all made fresh daily to align with a summer-based diet.

Visit your local Pie and Pastry Paradise at 9 Main St, Pialba, or 78 Elizabeth St, Urangan.

For phone orders, contact Pialba on 4124 1115 or Urangan on 4125 6883.