Patties have celebrated its 50th birthday with a party for staff, customers and suppliers in its home town of Bairnsdale, in regional Victoria.
From humble beginnings as a cake shop in Lakes Entrance, it now has a portfolio of iconic pie brands such as Four ‘N Twenty, Herbert Adams, Patties and Nana’s, as well as baking more than 450 million pastry items each year.
Founded by Dutch migrants Peter and Annie Rijs (pictured right and left), whose six sons all worked in the business, Patties operates a state-of-the-art bakery at Bairnsdale, employing more than 400 local staff.
Patties use more than 130 tonnes a week of Aussie meat for its pies – equivalent to 40,000 cattle – making them the fourth largest purchaser of beef in Australia.
They have more than 50 percent of the value share of the frozen savory food market and 47 percent of the frozen fruit pie market.
Director of Patties Foods and son of the founders Richard Rijs, says the values instilled by his late parents – to treat everyone with respect – have been a major keystone to the company’s success.
“The company was founded on honesty, integrity, and fairness, and those values hold true today,” he said.
“I was 13 when my parents took over the cake shop. I remember how nervous Mum was in that first week when the takings were only $100 and they still had to pay for their ingredients.
“One of my father’s mantras was if you are not growing, you are going backward, so as a company we have always been keen to take on new challenges.
“It’s great to see our products sold at every supermarket and at most convenience stores and service stations around the country, and enjoyed by so many people.”