Bakery Combinations: 20 years of dedication

Bakery Combinations: 20 years of dedication

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Bakery Combinations Australia is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. The company has been serving the Australasian Baking Industry with the supply and installation of bakery equipment since 2003. Since those early days, there has always been a strong focus on the requirements of bakeries producing top quality product on an industrial scale. Longstanding relationships were forged with truly innovative bakery equipment manufacturers such as Technosilos, Sancassiano, Rademaker, Koenig, Mecatherm, Tecnopool, MIWE, and GHD Hartmann.

The know-how and commitment of these industry leaders has enabled Bakery Combinations (or ‘BCA’ as the company is often called) to cement its position as a preferred supplier of high-output production lines for a variety of baked goods—not only in Australia, but also in New Zealand and, of late, in the UAE.

Always striving to stay up to date, diversify, and anticipate new market trends, Bakery Combinations’ founding owner and managing director John van Heusden recognised some years ago the growing influence smaller artisan bakeries were having on consumer preferences. He decided to recruit a new sales manager to assist him in growing the company’s presence in this exciting, dynamic segment of the baking industry. Mark Hodgson joined the business in 2019 to head up a team focusing on smaller artisan bakeries. Mark was recently appointed as the Sales Director Artisan & Craft Bakery Systems.

“They have the best brands,” said Mark when asked what was the appeal for him to join Bakery Combinations.

“I had been selling bakery equipment for 20 years and always loved MIWE whenever I saw the equipment in the market place. MIWE’s biggest attraction is their ability to support bakers throughout the growth of their businesses. Starting out helping to set up a small retail shop with a MIWE Condo deck oven and a MIWE Cube or Econo convection oven and then watching the growth of these small bakeries as they evolve into large wholesale bakeries is just awesome.

“We are well positioned to join these enthusiastic entrepreneurs on their journey, and once we start talking large MIWE Ideal stone deck ovens with automatic loading systems and Roll-In Rack ovens, it gets really exciting. It’s a little scary at first, sometimes due to the sheer dollar value, but we’ve done a fair few now, and we have been growing pretty comfortable with these larger projects.”

“It has not always been easy,” says Sven du Mee, Operations Manager and newly appointed Director of Bakery Combinations.

“The fast growth of our business in the artisan segment has been a bit overwhelming, on occasion. There have been trying times, as we were forced to recruit fast and recruit well. Within two years, we went from importing one container a month to one container a week, so it was paramount that we added a freight expert to our team, as this is an area in our business that can become very costly if not done right.

“Our service and spare parts department was next. We already had great long-serving staff in this area, but we needed to expand. And so we did, with additional resources now in place in both our spare parts department and additional service technicians recruited. And we are still hiring, so if anyone with drive, skills, and ambition is looking to join a young enthusiastic team, do not hesitate to contact me.”

Bakery Combinations covers all aspects of bakery equipment supply, literally from flour silo to packaging in boxes or crates, and even ventures outside of the industry. This happens quite often with its bulk packaging, bag-in-box solutions provider, Niverplast BV from the Netherlands. Supplying carton erectors; bag inserters; and counting, batching, and filling solutions for wide variety of products, Niverplast has a presence right throughout the global food processing industries.

“They’re a very modern and funky company, always pushing boundaries and doing new wonderful things with their marketing and social media,” says Sven.

Bakery Combinations is unique in the way it is presenting itself to the market. The company’s head office and main warehouse are still located in Hornsby (Sydney), right where John van Heusden started off 20 years ago. Mark Hodgson and project manager Benjamin Pogue are based remotely in Queensland, and the company opened an office in Christchurch New Zealand last year to better support its NZ customers. John is currently based in The Hague, The Netherlands.

“I wasn’t too sure how this would work out when I returned home some years ago,” John says.

“But it has turned into a real game changer for us. I am within driving distance, or a very short flight away, from all of our European suppliers, and as a result we are able to deal with scenarios quickly and turn information around very fast. Customer visits to our suppliers and European reference sites are always welcome, and it is easy and cost effective for me to join them on these trips.

“I’ve always enjoyed the travel part of my job, and I like to visit bakery exhibitions such as Interpack, IBIE, IBA, and Gulfood to stay informed and up to date. And of course I come back down to Australia and New Zealand four or five times each year to catch up with our fantastic team and visit our industrial key accounts, together with Sven and Benjamin,” he continues.

“These are exciting times for us all; there’s a lot happening, and it is such a great industry that we are in. We are extremely thankful to our customers and long-standing business partners, who continue to put their trust into the BCA team.”

One of these long-standing customers is Chu Bakery, who have purchased two MIWE deck ovens and a MIWE retarder prover from Bakery Combinations.

Ryan and Serena Chu

Ryan and Seren Chu, Chu Bakery

“The experience with Mark has been fantastic,” said owner Ryan Chu.

“He was professional, knowledgeable, and wanted what was suitable for us.”

Ryan’s experience with Bakery Combinations was incredibly positive; he appreciated the comprehensive care that was taken to ensure Chu Bakery was provided with products to suit their specific needs.

He said, “Mark provided advice on the features of the ovens and provers, how they would adapt to our baking schedule, and how it would accommodate greater flexibility in our baking program.”

The after-purchase care taken with Chu Bakery was the cherry on top of the cake, Ryan said.

“After the purchase, delivery, and installation, Mark would be in touch regularly to ensure everything was running correctly, and that the products integrated well into our business,” he said.

“I would purchase through Bakery Combinations again, as the premium products were high grade and have suited our bakery perfectly. I know I would get the support I need.”

Another of Bakery Combinations’ long-term satisfied customers is Burleigh Baker.

Geoffrey Dance from Burleigh BakerGeoffrey Dance, Burleigh Baker

Geoffrey Dance, the owner of Burleigh Baker, said, “From the very beginning, Mark and the [Bakery Combinations] team have consistently demonstrated professionalism, reliability, and a deep understanding of our unique requirements.

“The exceptional quality of the bakery equipment they have supplied has exceeded our expectations time and time again. Each product has proven to be durable, efficient, and tailored perfectly to our specific needs, allowing us to consistently deliver outstanding bakery products to our customers.”


Over the course of Burleigh Baker’s relationship with Bakery Combinations, they have purchased a number of products, including MIWE retail shop ovens and rack ovens, Sancassiano Hydra Mixers, and Rego bread slicers to name a few.

“The team’s expertise, attentiveness, and commitment to customer satisfaction make the entire journey smooth and enjoyable.

“We would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone in need of bakery equipment and services,” Geoffrey said.



For more information, contact Bakery Combinations Australia.


Main image: (L to R) Matthias Burkhardt from MIWE with John Van Heusden from BCA

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