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Patties Foods turns 50

patties in borderPatties Foods is celebrating its 50th anniversary next week in its home town of Bairnsdale, Victoria.

Starting as a cake shop in Lakes Entrance, the company now has a portfolio of iconic pie brands, such as Four’N Twenty, Herbert Adams, Patties and Nanna’s, and bakes more than 450 million pastry items a year.

Patties Foods operates a state-of-the-art bakery at Bairnsdale, employing more than 400 staff locally.

Nationally, Patties Foods has more than 50 per cent value share of the frozen savoury food market, and 47 per cent of the frozen fruit pie market. The company’s iconic brands are all market leaders in their respective categories.

The company uses more than 130 tonnes a week of prime Aussie meat for its market leading meat pies. That’s equivalent to 40,000 cattle a year, making Patties Foods the fourth largest purchaser of beef in Australia.

Patties Foods chairman, Mark Smith, said “This is a great Australian success story, and everyone who has played a part has every right to be proud of the achievement, and celebrate the moment.”

Dutch migrants Peter and Annie Rijs founded Patties Foods, and their six sons all worked in the business.

Richard Rijs, Director of Patties Foods, and son of the founders, said the values instilled by his late parents – to treat everyone with respect – have been a major keystone to the company’s success.

“I was 13 when my parents took over the cake shop, and I remember how nervous Mum was in that first week, when the takings were only $100, and they still had to pay for their ingredients,” said Rijs. “One of my father’s mantras was, if you are not growing, you are going backwards, so as a company we have always been keen to take on new challenges.

“Acquiring the Sunicrust Bakery in Bairnsdale in 1976 was a major milestone, tripling the size of our business. In 1985 we built a new pie factory in Bairnsdale, and we started supplying Patties Pies to Melbourne in 1986. Other milestones include purchasing the major brands, Four’N Twenty, Herbert Adams and Nanna’s, from Simplot in 2003, and listing the company on the ASX in 2006.”

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