Gillies eyes comeback

GILLIES Pies has reopened its distribution centre and plans to return the manufacturing operations to Bendigo after going into liquidation earlier this year.

The company, registered as Bendigo Bakery Pty Ltd, was forced to close its operations in March after health inspectors found issues with the Mayfair Park industrial site. 

But with new management registered under the name Gillies Famous Pies the brand is hoping to keep its local connection.

General manager Simon Bush said the idea was to re-build the company and reestablish the jobs that were lost.

“If we can get back to 40 or 50 employees that we had here before it went into administration that would be ideal,” he said.

“Whether or not it’s at Mayfair Park we’re not sure, but it will definitely be in Bendigo.”

The current distribution centre employs eight former Gillies workers.

Manufacturing has been shifted to a Melbourne factory, after production was stopped for eight weeks in the period the company was under administration.

Mr Bush said the long-term goal now was to raise enough revenue to bring the manufacturing part of the company back to Bendigo.

“We wish it could happen tomorrow, but it’s going to be something we’ll work at. We saw an opportunity to get the brand fixed up again, we don’t want to see it fade away or die off.”

Since reentering the marketplace, Mr Bush said orders had reached about 6,000 pies a week, down on the 24,000 the manufacturing plant was supplying before it was closed.

“The response from customers so far has been good but we’ve got to re-build the trust in the community and hopefully we can do that with the support of local sporting groups and other organisations.”

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