Contest is a piece of cake
STEVE'S Bakery and Cake Shop in Lismore is one of seven Northern Rivers shops to be ranked in the top 200 retailers across Australia.
The competition is run by dairy producer Parmalat and recognises business excellence, community involvement and business performance.
The manager of Steve's Bakery, Julie Stewart, said the shop made the final 50 last year and staff were treated to a trip to Tasmania.
“We were flown down and put up at a hotel in Hobart and had a boat cruise on the harbour which included oyster farms,” she said. “I rode a pushbike down Mount Wellington and we had a formal dinner on the Saturday night. It was fantastic.”
The shop takes its name from the man who converted it from an old house into a bakery in 1970, Steve Tomkins.
Today it is owned by another Steve – Stephen Butcher – and his wife Karen, who also own Southside Hot Bread in South Lismore – another business in Parmalat's top 200.
Mr Tomkins still works in the business as a pastry chef at Southside. Mrs Stewart said their speciality was birthday cakes, and the most popular was their chocolate mud cake.
“We do get some strange requests. Once we made a coffin for a kids' Halloween party,” she said.
Mrs Stewart said they had developed a good reputation with their customers and had a lot of people who came in daily.
“It's popular with a lot of workmen because we have good parking and sell local coffee,” she said.
Other Northern Rivers businesses named in the top 200 included Ferryside General Store at Tumbulgum, FoodWorks in East Ballina, IGA Goonellabah, IGA Woodburn and White's Four Square Foodmart in Yamba.
“We do get some strange requests. Once we made a coffin for a kids' Halloween party”