End of era for humble operation

By HANNAH ROSS news@northernstar.com.au BYRON Shire's iconic pie maker Humble Pies has wound up manufacturing operations at its Billinudgel factory.

The company's pies are now being made by a food manufacturer in Capalaba, Brisbane.

Humble Pies' owner Simon Donath said the decision had been taken to shut down manufacturing at Billinudgel because of growth in the company.

"We are looking to expand our manufacturing even further and the fact is the Billinudgel factory is 25 years old.

If you are looking to the future and considering the next 15 years, it makes more sense to be in that location," Mr Donath said.

Mr Donath said the Billinudgel retail outlet was still open and 'going from strength to strength', despite what he described as 'abysmal' access for southbound traffic wanting to get off the Pacific Highway at Billinudgel.

Mr Donath said the company had been scaling down manufacturing at Billinudgel over the past 18 months, and had recently laid off three workers.

But former head cook at the factory, Brett Hogan, said as many as 12 manufacturing staff had been laid off in the past 12 months.

Mr Hogan, 28, said he was rung up during his holidays about a year ago and told not to come back to work.

Mr Hogan said he was not told why he was being sacked or informed of the company's plans to move its manufacturing operations.

Mr Hogan, of Ocean Shores, is now working casual shifts at the Brunswick Heads Fishing Co-op. He said he had struggled to find another full-time job in the area since his position at Humble Pies was made redundant.

Mr Donath said Humble Pies were now being made in conjunction with the Capalaba business and still contained many local ingredients.

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