One of the most recognisable parts of Australian culture, the meat pie has been around for more than a century and can be found in just about any retail outlet from supermarkets to service stations, convenience stores to football stadiums. And while decades have passed and more flavours have been introduced, the successful formula has remained largely unchanged – a hand-sized pastry containing mostly meat and gravy, often consumed as a takeaway food snack.
One long established supplier of meat pies is family-owned Mrs Mac’s, a company founded in Melbourne during the late 1940s by Ken Macgregor, who started the business as a small pie and cake wholesale entity. It wasn’t until 1954 that Ken decided to pack up and move the company to Perth, trading under the name Bakewell Pies. By 1988, the business had grown substantially with Ken’s son, the late Iain Macgregor, at the helm, distributing nationwide, resulting in a second name change, this time to Mrs Mac’s.
Today, it’s certainly a far cry from the operation of yesteryears, at least for those working behind the scenes. “Business is much, much different today. Back in the day, we’d have our staff delivering hot pies to schools, oven baked and on the back of a light truck,” says Barry Gowan, National Logistics Manager.
“Now, we are not only baking the pies, but we are freezing them as well and distributing large quantities to businesses around the country. In recent years, we’ve added more products too, which is why we started looking at purchasing new transport equipment to suit the cold chain tasks required.”
To read full feature subscribe to Trailer – out now.