Terang Country Bakery has only been open for a month, but its award-winning pies are already putting it on the map.
Owners Brad Burkitt and Gaye McVilly saw a gap in the market when they opened the High Street business in late August.
In the midst of settling in, the pair decided to try their luck in the Great Aussie Pie Competition.
The move paid off, with the bakery winning a silver medal for its Farmers’ Pie and a bronze for its chicken and vegetable creation.
Mr Burkitt said the Farmers’ Pie was walking out the door, with its combination of mince steak, egg, cheese and bacon proving popular.
“Everyone loves them,” he said.
Their bronze-winning pie features oven roasted chicken paired with vegetables from Greavesy’s Fruit and Veg. All the bakery’s pies use meat from Terang’s A Cut Above Butchers.
Mr Burkitt said he had never entered the competition before, and the bakery’s entries only just made it in time.
”We were supposed to enter the Friday before we opened and we missed the cut-off date,” he said.
After ringing the organisers in Sydney, the bakery was given five minutes to complete their paperwork.
The courier expected to pick up the pies drove straight past and it was a race against time to organise another service to get the entries to Sydney.
“They nearly didn’t get there,” Ms McVilly said.
After tasting success on the national stage, more competitions are on the horizon, but for the moment Mr Burkitt is enjoying day-to-day life at the bakery.
“It’s been very well received,” he said of the business.
“We’ve had lots of community support, everyone is saying how happy they are to have a bakery back in town.”
At 23, Mr Burkitt said opening the business was a dream come true.
“I started my apprenticeship when I was 16 at Timboon Bakery and ever since I started it’s been a dream to have my own bakery and now we’re here,” he said.
Ms McVilly spent more than a decade at Timboon and District Healthcare Service before deciding it was time for a change.
“Brad’s always been a baker and we were just talking one day,” she said.
Wheels were put in motion in February to refurbish the former fish and chip shop and transform it into a bakery.
Warrnambool’s Reeves Bakery was also recognised at the Great Aussie Pie Competition, claiming bronze medals for both its sausage roll and plain mince pie.