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From Humble Beginnings to an Aspiring Australian Icon

What started with a homemade chunky steak pie recipe from a Charters Towers roadhouse and a bold vision to supply Australia with premium quality convenience pies has since become a multi-award-winning company that manufactures over 6,000 pies an hour and sells their products to several countries across the Asia-Pacific.

Established in Townsville in 2003, The Outback Pie Co. has a long-standing reputation for its quality range of pies and baked goods that have graced the shelves of various regions throughout Australia for nearly two decades.

Managing Director, Milo Gaffney, and his wife, Camilla Jorgenson who has been instrumental in building the business, says the company’s commitment to quality and consumer satisfaction is at the core of building the business into an aspiring iconic Australian brand.

“The idea of The Outback Pie Co. was born from a discussion at a family barbeque about the opportunities for pies in the greater Australian market and from that conversation stemmed the seed of an idea which we worked on and developed,” explains Milo.

“In 2003, we invested in purchasing a small business in Aitkenvale which gave us a manufacturing base and a platform to set up our distribution roots which we used to build the foundations of the business.

“Fast froward to today, we now employ many locals and take great pride in having a dedicated team who are passionate about the brand and our products.”

Their distribution strategy has been heavily focused on the food and service and petrol and convenience market segments. Despite tough competition from much larger competitors, the business has yielded success by focusing on standout marketing and leveraging its specialist manufacturing capabilities.

“The goal was always to develop the petroleum and convenience industry and we really focused on the innovation of the product and providing a key point of difference,” adds Camilla.

We also decided to brand the pastry lids on our pies as a unique marketing strategy that reinforces our brand strapline ‘Pies so beefy, We Brand ’em.’ This strongly supports the brand’s core proposition of products made with 100% Prime Australian Beef.”

The business soon identified export potential for its products and in 2011 began designing and building their factory in the Bohle to accomodate this new business venture. The North Queensland based export accredited facility is now one of only three in Australia, and the only export pie making factory in Queensland.

“Our export orders are shipped or freighted directly from our manufacturing facility here in Townsville and it has provided an incredible base to expand our range and offerings to nations all around the globe,” continues Milo.

“We have a heavy export focus on the Asia-Pacific region such as the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and Vietnam, which has proven to be very successful.”

The continuing growth in the company’s sales has been driven by flavour innovations and quality, and they now have their products stocked in major retail outlets such as Coles and IGA.

“We sell a core range of meat pies in IGA and other various independent outlets, and also stock our unique and only offer of an all-day breakfast pie in Coles Queensland,” says Milo.

“The retail space is a different sales channel to petrol and convenience, so we had to pivot our business modelling to tailor to the market, but in doing so it has assisted our brand growth and has given us avenues into other distribution outlets.”

As the world continues to open up, the company is looking to increase business in the retail sector, expand their product range and continue to penetrate key international markets.

“While the company has grown over time, one thing that hasn’t changed is our passion for baking great tasting products our customers love,” adds Camilla.

“We are in it for the long haul, we love the business, and we look forward to continuing as a strong North Queensland company.”

By Georgie Desailly.

Photography credit: Sonia Warrell, Hello Muse Marketing.


Georgie Desailly

Georgie Desailly

Georgie is BDmag’s resident writer who is passionate about entrepreneurship, sustainability and regional affairs. She is preparing to study with The School of The New York Times later this year before commencing her journalism qualifications.