A Million Pies Are Added To NZ Pie Maker’s Annual Bake Thanks To New Supply Deal
Next month, the production line at Goodtime Pies’ Napier bakery will be busier than ever thanks to a new deal brokered with one of New Zealand’s most loved gourmet pie brands; a deal that will see more than a million pies added to Goodtime’s already impressive annual output of more than 13 million pies, rolls and savouries – that’s more than 60,000 every day.
The deal is another feather in the cap of a business that is growing strongly and earning industry awards, despite Covid interrupting production and temporarily affecting its supply chain. Goodtime managing director Eric Hill says in the case of the latest production deal, they were approached for their “pastry expertise”.
“The brand owner was looking to outsource their range due to their own growth and capacity constraints. We’re known in the industry for our unique type of soft and tender pastry and as dedicated pie makers, have built up a reputation for our pastry quality as well as our fillings so it was a natural fit. Our bakeries can also handle the numbers needed to supply supermarkets nationwide,” says Hill.
With the current rate of expansion across Goodtime, the business which currently employs more than 100 people, will need to boost its staff numbers. Hill says he hopes the change in the shift pattern established during Covid – and that has continued post-lockdown – will help to recruit additional staff.
“We had been talking about a four-day week before Covid hit, but when we went into lockdown, we condensed our weekly shift pattern into four 10-hour shifts to reduce the number of days our Napier team spent outside their home bubble.
“When we moved back to full production after lockdown, we asked our local team whether they’d like to continue with the four-day week (Monday to Thursday) and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. We trialled it and it was incredibly successful. Now everyone gets a three-day weekend every week. It’s like gold!”
Goodtime is in expansion mode, with Hill saying the business is planning to double its production over the next few years and the recent pie making deal is a step toward that goal.
“Covid made us have a hard look at our business and we have come out stronger. We have the footprint and potential production capacity but will definitely need a bigger team.”
Goodtime supplies Z Energy with pies ‘naked’ in the hot cabinet, while the other arm of the business, Focus Distribution, supplies more than 1,000 smaller customers including dairies, cafes, schools and lunch bars throughout the country and larger DHB and industrial canteens through a supply deal with Compass catering.
In 2015, the company worked with Z to create a vegan pie range, which is now a staple for all of Goodtime’s customers. The popularity of the vegan range with both non-meat and meat eaters has been “overwhelming” says Hill, and borne out with Goodtime winning first place in the 2020 Vegan Pie Awards commercial section with its Pepper Shroom and second place with its Korma Vegetable pie. Recently, Goodtime released a vegan sausage roll which is selling like hot cakes.
“Changes in diets, preferences and an evolving industry means we have to be flexible and adaptive in our business. We’re excited about the future and seeing our expansion plans taking shape, which will bring many new opportunities for our suppliers and partners in New Zealand and in export markets. And of course opportunities for the people of Hawke’s Bay.”