Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses are celebrating their 115th birthday and, to make it even more special, they have the same family at the helm.
The Plarre family, including fifth-generation Elizabeth, aged four, blew out the birthday candles with Lord Mayor Robert Doyle on August 24 at Queen Victoria Market.
Chief executive officer and fourth-generation baker Steve Plarre, who started helping his father Ralph stick strawberries onto cream cakes when he was just eight, says his team never takes its history for granted.
“Customers often remind us that Ferguson Plarre has been at the centre of familites’ emotionally-charged moments for generations, helping them celebrate birthdays, weddings and anniversaries,” Plarre says.
“I’ve had people tell me they still have the top tier of their mum’s Ferguson Plarre wedding cake in the freezer, or that their fondest childhood memory was going with grandma to buy a Tiddly Oggie (pastie) at the Victoria Market in the 1940s.”
50k kick-start to live the franchise dream
In addition to celebrating their 115th birthday, Ferguson Plarre is offering 10 people a $50,000 grant to kick-start their own small business dream.
Steve Plarre says Ferguson Plarre has 115 years to perfect their bakery-café business model, and since 1901, they’ve traded through World Wars and depressions.
“We’ve served the Queen of England and the President of the United States. During that time, we’ve learned a lot, built an incredible retail system and worked hard to get our model right. We’re now ready to grow,” he says.
The $500,000 Franchise Incentive Program provides financial support to passionate people with a small business dream to join the Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses network in Victoria.
Applications are now open and will close on December 31, 2016.