Gympie region bakers bring authentic French cuisine to town
CHEESEWORLD was a Goomeri staple for 10 years, but it left a big hole in the Gympie and South Burnett region communities when owners Margaret and Gerry Gable closed the book on their local venture and took their business mobile in 2013.
Enter the Prendergast family.
After part-owner and principal baker Margaretha journeyed to France for a "working holiday” to "learn the art of French bread making”, the family unit put their heads together and set about making one of their long-held dreams a reality.
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Part-owner, co-manager and Margaretha's son Joe Prendergast said opening a bakery in the town they know and love "was always an idea” for the family.
"Upon (Margaretha) returning from France the ... family brought the building that was formally CheeseWorld and (I) began fitting out the building to become The Goomeri Bakery. We opened for business in August 2017,” Mr Prendergast said.
"Margaretha has always had a special touch when it comes to cakes, pastries and sweets. Before opening the bakery (her) speciality was the famous dessert cabinet at Dusty Hill's Irish Tavern & restaurant.
"After baking in France and then coming back to Australia it took weeks of trial and error to perfect the danish and croissants as the climate and ingredients are all slightly different.
"We chose to build the bakery in this building because of its beautiful facade, and its position in (the) morning sun (is the) perfect place to sit and enjoy breakfast and coffee.”
Now more than a year on from opening their doors, the Prendergasts are enjoying consistently high customer numbers in the bakery - and widespread acclaim for their French-inspired, home-made delights to go with it.
Not only do they run the bakery, they also own Joe's Grand Hotel across the road, and the Dusty Hill Vineyard in Moffatdale.
The bakery's diverse and mutli-faceted menu includes a "variety of gourmet pies and sausage rolls made fresh each day, toasted and fresh sandwiches, croissants, danishes, muffins, biscuits, cheese cake (and) tarts in all sorts of wonderful flavours, barista-made coffee and French bread and sourdough”.
"Local deli items” are also sold, and "seasonal fresh flowers and seedlings” add to the decor and atmosphere of the shop.
Mr Prendergast said the bakery's success had created a flow-on effect for business in Goomeri.
"The locals and other business owners are very positive to have a bakery in town as it seems to have travellers stop in town and then walk around the town.
"We have even seen some other shops open as a result of extra foot traffic in town.
"Some locals are not so happy though as they have put on a few kilos and it is hard to get a carpark in town.”
Mr Prendergast thanked his mother Margaretha, wife Miranda, front of house manager and number one barista Kirsty Smith "and our great team of chefs, bakers and front of house staff” for the venture's success.
The Goomeri Bakery is open from 7am - 4pm every day except Tuesday and Wednesday.
If you're a CheeseWorld fan, you can catch Margaret and Gerry Gagel's "CheeseWorld on the move” van outside Bella Casa at the upcoming Christmas on Mary events.