Iconic southern Darling Downs bakery Steele’s Bakery and Café has claimed the Best Product or Service Business Excellence award for the seventh year in a row.
Owners Brad and Gail Steele brought the bakery back to Warwick eight years ago after its initial closure in 1999. Proud supporters of the Business Excellence Awards, the couple has been nominated every year and won the Best New Business award the first year out, followed by consistent Best Product and Service wins.
Gail told Warwick Daily News their secret to success was looking after customers and producing good quality products, which was why she is very particular when hiring staff.
“You can teach staff everything else, but customer service is a quality employees either have or they don’t,” she said.
“It’s important to have staff who can connect with the customers to ensure repeat business.”
With more than 40 years of baking experience it is not surprising the bakery sells more than 1000 pies each week.
“With pies contributing to 65 per cent of our sales, the most popular pie is by far the good old traditional meat pie, which I personally taste test each morning to ensure the recipe is just right,” Brad said.
“We produce a wide variety of bakery goods, and Gail is constantly coming up with new recipes to keep things interesting.”
The dynamic duo has also won a slew of national pie awards and was named the Best Bakery in South-East Queensland in 2009 by media.
Rebuilding the business three times after devastating floods has not hindered the business’ s reputation by any means. The Steele family recently celebrated the first anniversary of their second shop in town and have operated a popular hot food van for the past two years.