Good bakeries tend to put places on the map, and Timber Creek, a popular stop on the trip between Katherine and Kununurra, has already got the travelers talking.
The Wirib Tourism Park General Store bakery was relaunched last week and it has 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.
The store’s signature pies have sold out every day since the relaunch.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Aboriginal Investment Group chief executive Steve Smith said.
“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,” Mr Smith said.
“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.”
Remote Food Solutions were contracted to run the bakery when it was built in late 2017 as part of an 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, Mr Smith said.
AIG now manages the store on behalf of Gunamu Aboriginal Corporation.
Employment and skills transfer are the most significant positives.
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 per cent local, Indigenous staff.
“Gone are the days of buying frozen, sliced bread that is a week old, Mr Smith said.
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