After quitting their jobs to open the Tailem Bend Bakery in 2014, Paige Coombe and her husband Jake, along with her parents Deb and Malc became first time business owners.
With the new responsibilities came new challenges.
‘About a year after we bought the bakery we decided that the shop needed to be updated because the layout was not ideal for what we had planned for the business,’ says Paige.
‘The shop was last renovated in 1968, so we shut the shop for five days guttered everything and started again.
‘In the three years since we have been here we have guttered the shop front and started again, re-roofed the whole bakery and house, re-painted inside and updated our machinery.
‘We know that by investing in the property we are investing in the community.
‘We can continue to produce high quality products, satisfy our customers as well as attract new ones and continue to employ local staff,’ Paige says.
While the family plans to expand their wholesale and make a few more updates, Paige manages the bakery while Jake is head baker, mum keeps the office administration running smoothly, maintains wholesale relations and dad makes deliveries and keeps the premises clean.
Recently celebrating their third year in business the “Tailem Bend Bakery family”, including their team of bakers, apprentice bakers, bakers assistants, delivery drivers, wholesale packers and shop workers, have already won many state awards for their products.
‘We recently won awards at the Baking Association of Australia, South Australian Baking Show 2016,’ says Paige.
‘We won first place for our white sandwich loaf, plait loaf and decorated sponge cake.
‘We also won places in the categories for white hi-top loaf, fancy wholemeal rolls, plain traditional beef pie, gourmet pie and fruit loaf.
‘We bake almost everything here on the premises and wholesale our goods to about 30 businesses around the region including local sporting clubs.
‘We also provide catering, decorated sponge cakes and fundraising opportunity like our pie drive.
‘At the moment our quiche are very popular but it is our slow cooked lamb shank and rabbit stew pies that are selling out,’ Paige says.
Quality products are key to the success of the Tailem Bend Bakery says Paige.
Their range of products continues to grow as Jake tries new products to entice customers, like the soon to be released duck pie, as well as occasional treats like their Easter Hot Chocolate – A decadent cup of hot chocolate poured into chocolate Easter eggs until melted with little pink and white marshmallows.
‘When we bought Tailem Bend Bakery as a family, we all quit our jobs to buy it,’ says Paige.
‘None of us had ever owned a business before and we all came from different working backgrounds too.
‘I worked in childcare, my mum worked in aged care, my dad worked in a warehouse and my husband was an apprentice baker.
‘We have learned a lot as a family.
‘You have to have a lot of passion for what you are doing and have a good quality product.
‘I love being a part of the community and meeting so many people on a daily basis.
‘Owning and operating a business in the Coorong region is an opportunity I would not have had anywhere else and I love it.’