BY golly, has it been worth the wait!
After an extensive build and short period of closure, Gaffney’s new bakery and pie kitchen is open.
The first patrons trickled in early Friday to inspect Heathcote’s newest, and largest, eatery. The trickle became a stream, and then a flood, extending right over the weekend.
Manager Dave Gaffney said the response had been "extremely positive", with Sunday being their busiest day.
The multi-million dollar private investment has created 15 jobs and is projected to attract thousands of tourists each year.
“Heathcote has so much to offer,” Mr Gaffney said.
“We are becoming known as a destination, a place to explore. It’s no longer a place for a ‘bite to eat’, and keep on going.
Gaffney’s Bakery and Pie Kitchen is a 10-year vision, brought to life through persistence, dedication and teamwork.
“Our staff have been our backbone,” Mr Gaffney said.
“This truly is our dream bakery. We want to create an experience, somewhere people can feel welcome in, and proud of. We are looking forward to creating many new memories with all of our valued customers.”
The build was kept local, using trades within Heathcote and surrounding towns and communities, including Bendigo.
Mr Gaffney said the majority of staff were local, many with the business for several years.
“We received an overwhelming number of applications,” he said. “We’re proud to say most of them are from Heathcote."
The original bakery and pie kitchen opened opposite the Visitor Information Centre in 1996.
“The business has been built exclusively around pies, supported by traditional products we all know and love,” Mr Gaffney said.
“We have always focused on customer service. I think the reason we have been so successful is because we want to create an experience that connects people to their childhoods; memories of eating heart-warming food as a family, or with friends.”
Gaffney’s Bakery is located at 63 High St, Heathcote. To help meet demand, nine new car park spaces have been created including a disabled park and an all abilities access ramp.
"Sunday is by far our busiest day which is good, as it's when many businesses up this end of the street are closed.
"We are also working with the City of Greater Bendigo to install parking signs for vehicles with caravans and boats in the two service roads.”
Gaffney's Bakery is open seven days, 6 am to 5 pm.