"We’re a family company that brings our values of customer service,
baking excellence and value for money to everything we do."
By Larry Pantaleo
founder & Director
In 1995 my wife Narda and I came up with a simple idea. To open a small, niche bakery within our local fresh food market. Our aim was to create a specialty range of quality breads, pies, cakes and desserts that would appeal to hungry Aussies.
Little did we know how huge this new venture would become.
In just a short period of time, the business had outgrown the food mart, and in 1997 we decided to open a stand-alone business, Pinjarra Bakery & Patisserie. Local support was tremendous, and people came from around the Murray and South West to taste our superbly prepared and carefully baked pies, breads and cakes.
Our earliest entries in baking and Royal Show awards were rewarded with acclaim and success and in 2006 we were awarded the most successful pastry exhibitor at the Northam Show.
The same year, our business was named overall winner in the Alcoa Peel Business Excellence Awards.
Since then, we have continued to accumulate awards across the country, including several national awards. Our proudest
moment was when our ‘Rosemary’s Lamb” pie was named Australia’s best in the Gourmet Red Meat category.
Building on our success, in 2007 we opened our purpose-built bakery and café in Pinjarra, a premises finally big enough for our many delectable offerings, with plenty of room for our customers to relax and enjoy.
It’s a good thing we built such a big store, because today along with our many regular customers from around the region, tourists, caravanners and visitors flocking to the beautiful Murray River make a point of dropping by to taste our famous wares.
Our flagship Pinjarra store has since been joined by the popular outlet in Waroona, and our newest addition, the Maddington store, opened August 2014.
Although we’re now bigger than ever, our commitment to bringing our customers the very best has not changed. We’re still a family company that brings our values of customer service, baking excellence and value for money to everything we do, and we look forward to serving our Great Australian customers for a long time to come.
We asked Pinjarra Bakery founder Larry Pantaleo a few questions about his past two decades in the baking game.
Q Larry, why did you start Pinjarra bakery?
A In 1995, over 20 years ago now-we could see that Pinjarra needed a bakery that offered home-made quality pies, cakes, breads and desserts. So my wife Narda and I decided that we would make it happen.
Q What’s your secret to satisfied customers?
A From the start we committed to using only fresh, top quality ingredients – sourced locally when we can – prepared and baked to our own traditional recipes.
I always say, if it’s not good enough for my family to eat- it’s not good enough for our customers.
Q How do you win so many awards?
A We have won a lot of awards, haven’t we (laughs). Honestly, there have been so many I’ve lost count over the years! However, we are especially proud of our three National awards – our ‘Rosemary’s Lamb’ Pie won Australia’s Best Gourmet Red Meat Pie, and the other two National Awards were for Vegetarian Pies.
Q So how do you do it?
A Simple. We never skimp on quality, we make sure everything has great taste, and presentation of products has to be 100%. It looks as good as it tastes, and it tastes fantastic.
Q You now have three stores. Has that changed the way you operate?
A Absolutely not. We are manufacturing larger quantities and working longer shifts, but the recipes, ingredients, and preparation techniques are still the same, and every one of my bakers has my personal seal of approval.
Q Why do people come to your stores?
A Four reasons. One, because they love our food and we have a huge selection. Two because we provide a clean, welcoming space to relax and enjoy a meal, snack or just a quick but beautifully brewed coffee. Three, because we have an excellent team of friendly and helpful staff. And four, because all our products are backed by a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
Q Any new stores being planned?
A Right now, we’re flat out making sure the customers of our three stores – in Pinjarra, Waroona and Maddington – all enjoy the same quality we’ve been delivering since Narda and I started baking in 1995. But there are a lot of hungry Australians out there, so you never know…
Q Larry, thanks for your insights into Pinjarra Bakery. Anything you’d like to add?
A Over the past 20 years I estimate that over six million people have enjoyed our award winning products and on behalf of my family and staff I would like to thank each one for their generous support. We’ll never stop making the tastes you love, using the best ingredients and recipes. We’re a family company, and we’ll stay that way.