Hopes for Bendigo Bakery sale

THE liquidator of a Bendigo East bakery that closed this week remains hopeful the iconic Gillies brand will be retained in the city.

Bendigo Bakery Pty Ltd, trading as Gillies Pies, shut on Thursday after months of speculation about the company’s future.

The move followed a health inspection last week that found many small issues and up to five core issues requiring urgent attention.

Greg Andrews of GS Andrews and Associates yesterday said the work could not be completed within the given time frame and the decision was made to close the factory.

“We had the discussion with the food services inspector and obviously we just couldn’t complete all their requirements within the time frame set and we made the decision to cease production,’’ he said.

“We are a company in liquidation with no funding, so we can’t stand the whole place down, fix things and then start up again.’’

Mr Andrews said the company’s cash flow problems started when it moved into the Mayfair Park premises last year, and it had consequently been running at a loss.

“There were teething problems associated with that... unfortunately when they moved into the new factory they didn’t have enough money to fix everything. They were issues largely related to things involved in the building itself and about the equipment the company has installed in those premises.

“It is a very large food preparation room over two levels. Sealing all walls, roofs, etc, is an issue; you can’t see 30 feet in the air.

“These were some of the things the previous owner couldn’t deal with – these are not things that have arisen lately.”

However, Mr Andrews said there was a “massive response’’ to the advertising campaign to sell the premises and two potential buyers remained interested.

He is hopeful of a sale next week.

“If we can convince somebody to buy the factory, within two weeks they could have the factory in a position where it passes all inspections and recommence production,’’ he said. “Hopefully they can retain the client base because of the iconic brand of Gillies Pies.

“We can’t overcome the issue we’ve got up there at the moment and have no choice but to stand the staff down – but if either of the purchasers go ahead, we would hope many would be re-employed.’’

The Bendigo Advertiser wishes to clarify that Gillies Pies retail outlets in Bendigo are not affiliated with Bendigo Bakery Pty Ltd and are not affected by the factory’s closure.