Pie sale needs the right ingredients
By STEPHANIE FORESTER
ICONIC Mullumbimby business Uncle Tom's Pies is up for sale, but it'll take more than the right money for Ian Smart to hand it over.
Ian bought the business just over 20 years ago in partnership with his wife, Elizabeth, a Mullumbimby teacher, and his parents, Ernie and Leah.
Ernie and Leah retired 12 years ago and, having worked in petrol stations and food shops since he was 15 years old, Ian now reckons it's time to try something new ... he just doesn't yet know what.
Uncle Tom's was established on the old Pacific Highway at the Mullumbimby turn-off in 1948 by Tom McLean.
The business now turns over 160 dozen pies baked daily on the premises for both shops, the second of which was opened in Tweed Mall in anticipation of a drop in sales when the new highway opened.
The meat pie recipe is the same as old Tom's, but some days it's almost outsold by Ian's lentil pies.
"I think whoever takes over the business has a responsibility to maintain the pies," he said. "I'd be very hesitant to let it go to someone who was going to run it into the ground."