We recently spoke with one of our brand ambassadors, Ryan Khun of Country Cob Bakery in Kyneton, Victoria in the lead up to Australia’s Best Pie & Pastie Competition. Having claimed the title of Australia’s Best Pie 2 years running, we wanted to check in with Ryan to see how his preparations are tracking for this year’s competition and how his team were coping given the recent changes to everyday life. Keep reading for the full interview!
1. How have the last 6 months been for you guys?
It has been a bit tough, not just for us, but all businesses. The winter months tend to be our busiest time with people often coming and treating themselves to a heart-warming pie, however if we compare these winter months to those of last year, it is really clear to see that business has slowed down considerably. We really feel for everyone during these tough times and are just trying to do the best we can to keep spirits up by creating new recipes and products in our stores.
2. We’ve seen some of your new creations on your Instagram, what dish is the most popular at the moment? The slices or pies?
A bit of both actually! But pies are still our main seller here. We are well known for our pies and this is mostly due to our huge range of variety. We are constantly coming up with new flavours and recipes, so we have lots of customers coming in (both new and our regulars!) to give these new creations a trial. However, our slices are pretty popular too. Over the last few weeks, we have been trying to mix it up a bit (pardon the pun). We’ve been experimenting in trying something new, special, innovative in order to bring people back in, particularly if it can bring a bit of excitement to their lives!
3. How are you preparing for Australia’s Best Pie & Pastie Comp?
Just like last year, we are working very hard on the new recipes and flavours. There’s lots of trials and errors! We (try) to be ready and have created a few new surprises so hoping for some luck to bring the trophy home for a 3rd time!
4. What tips do you have for first time entries?
With business slowing down and some spare time becoming available as a result, I would say to take this time and opportunity to start experimenting. It’s the perfect time to put on your creative hat and start trialling new creations. If you think your pie is good, why not enter it! It will only benefit both yourself, and your business. We have failed so many times over the years (5-10 years!) before we won the big one, so keep going!
5. What categories are you entering in this year?
We are entering around 10-20% of the Pie categories, and probably about 4-5 of the Pastie categories.
6. Of all your creations to date, which has been your favourite?
Probably have to say the Pork & Pepper Pie which was last year’s Competition winner. It has now become a permanent feature on our menu.