When Joseph Kermond flipped his first hamburger patty in a caravan on the Warrnambool foreshore in 1949, he could not have foreseen the special place his creation would come to hold in the community.
Next year, the iconic Kermond’s Hamburgers will celebrate 70 years of operation using the same recipe the company’s founder started out with all those years ago.
The south-west community well and truly backed the burger joint in a recent poll run by The Standard asking who makes the best burgers.
Close to 40 per cent of people who voted – more than 800 – said Kermond’s burgers were the best.
Owner Brett Healey, who started out at the burger shop when he was 15 and has dedicated more than three decades of his life to it, said he was grateful for the support.
He said the recipe for success was simple, with consistency and high quality local ingredients important elements.
“Anyone can make a good hamburger, but to do it 363 days a year for the last 70 years – that’s what sets us apart,” Mr Healey said.
The shop is open every day of the year from 9am to 9pm except for Good Friday and Christmas Day, which Mr Healey said served as a big advantage for Kermond’s.
He said New Year’s Day was usually the busiest of the year, and over the summer period staff make anywhere between 600 to 800 burgers a day.
Mr Healey said his 35 casual staff members did a fantastic job producing great burgers.
Over time, the business has employed many teenagers and trained them up to give them a start in the workforce.
When he initially stepped through the doors at Kermond’s almost 35 years ago, Mr Healey’s first job was to prepare the onions for the burgers and he said that tradition remains.
Mr Healey wants to expand the business to other parts of Victoria prior to its 70th birthday late next year.
He thanked the community for voting for Kermond’s in the poll and said he was pleased other burger businesses had recently opened in Warrnambool.
“I wish all the other joints well,” he said.
“We don’t see it as competition, we see it as enhancing the Warrnambool CBD. The more shops that open and the more choices people have got, the better it is for Warrnambool.”