Porirua cus­tomers got it right

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By MATTHEW DAL­LAS and AN­DREA O’NEIL

‘‘I al­ways thought food was a good busi­ness to get into be­cause peo­ple al­ways need to eat.’’

A sim­ple yet suc­cess­ful phi­los­o­phy for Brumby’s owner Richard Cook, whose Porirua bak­ery kneaded and rolled its way to dis­tinc­tion at the Porirua Busi­ness Awards, claim­ing the supreme ac­co­lade.

Richard and wife Al­li­son’s fran­chise, based at the Me­ga­Cen­tre, took out the re­tail cat­e­gory be­fore also win­ning the top hon­our at an awards cer­e­mony at Te Rau­paraha Arena on Thurs­day night.

The Cooks opened the bak­ery 12 years ago in the early stages of the ‘‘ big block’’ re­tail devel­op­ment.

The par­ent com­pany took some con­vinc­ing Porirua would be suited for Brumby’s, but the cus­tomers did not. Set up next to The Ware­house to ben­e­fit from the foot traf­fic, the bak­ery soon be­came a des­ti­na­tion shop in it­self, said Mr Cook.

‘‘ The fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence be­tween us and other bak­eries is that we use a scratch bak­ing method of bak­ing bread. We start with raw in­gre­di­ents, we don’t use pre-mixes.’’

Brumby’s had been nom­i­nated for busi­ness awards in 2009 and 2011. Win­ning two this year, in­clud­ing the big one, sur­passed all ex­pec­ta­tions, he said.

When re­ceiv­ing the Supreme Award, he and Al­li­son said they felt hon­oured and hum­bled, and thanked their staff and cus­tomers.

Over the last 12 years Brumby’s in Porirua has do­nated a mil­lion dol­lars’ worth of food to com- mu­nity groups, food banks and school break­fast pro­grammes and the bak­ery has a phi­los­o­phy pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to the un­em­ployed, said Mr Cook.

The West­pac Porirua Busi­ness Awards is hosted an­nu­ally by the Porirua Cham­ber of Com­merce. Ap­pli­ca­tions were submitted from through­out the busi­ness com­mu­nity be­fore a rig­or­ous judg­ing process, said the cham­ber’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Holly Thompson.

‘‘I can tell you Brumby’s im­pressed the judges from start to fin­ish.’’

At the awards, Cham­ber chair­man Don Casagranda said it had been a re­mark­able year for the or­gan­i­sa­tion. It had staged its sec­ond May­oral Expo, moved its head­quar­ters to the CBD, and grown its mem­ber­ship to about 300.

He said it was im­por­tant to cel­e­brate Porirua’s busi­ness com­mu­nity, whose con­tri­bu­tion couldn’t be un­der­es­ti­mated; a city of 4000 busi­nesses, 160,000 em­ploy­ees, con­tribut­ing $1.2 bil­lion to­wards the na­tion’s GDP each year.

Photo: AN­DREA O’NEIL

Taste of success: Richard and Al­li­son Cook, own­ers of Brumby’s bak­ery in Porirua, were ‘‘ex­tremely hon­oured and hum­bled’’ to be judged the city’s top busi­ness at last week’s awards func­tion.

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