The Wirib Tourism Park General Store bakery was relaunched last week (August 15) and it’s been a dream come true for the Timber Creek bakers.
Tourists appeared out of nowhere to get their bakery fix and filled a normally empty dining verandah at the store. August 16 and 17 were even better with the store bursting at the seams to hold tourists and locals trying out the pies, which have run out every day since the relaunch.
“I couldn’t believe it – I had been on the store’s verandah the day before the bakery changed, and there was no one there, not for the whole day. Now, with a bit of signage, a wider range of food and the availability of freshly baked bread, the number people coming into the shop, buying food and sitting down to eat has grown out of sight in just three days” says Steve Smith, Aboriginal Investment Group CEO.
Remote Food Solutions were contracted to run the bakery when it was built in late 2017 as part of a NT government initiative. However, government policy restricted the bakery’s range made it unpopular with the local and tourists. Customer numbers since the relaunch shows how happy tourists and locals are with the new bakery range at the store.
Aboriginal Investment Group have recently taken over store management from Outback Stores, lifted the bakery restrictions, and are keen to make it a vibrant, profitable store on a popular tourist path.
The popularity of the store bakery is good news for the people of Timber Creek for lots of reasons explains Steve from AIG, which now manages the store on behalf of Gunamu Aboriginal Corporation.
Employment and skills transfer are the most significant positives here. The store staff have been taught to proof, bake, cool and package the bread. They are also filling and baking pies, pasties and sausage rolls. Wirib General Store has 80% local, Indigenous staff, so this means employment is being met where it’s needed most. As managers of the store, AIG is absolutely committed to Indigenous employment explains Steve.
On top of that, locals (and tourists) can eat freshly baked bread. “Gone are the days of buying frozen, sliced bread that is a week old” says Steve who says freshly baked, healthy bread is a plus for the locals of Timber Creek.
For interview or more information contact
AIG CEO, Steve Smith
0401 089 652