Mingenew Bakery sells 20kg of vanilla slice and 300 pies in busiest day in 10 years

Shannon VerhagenCountryman
Mingenew Bakery owner Sarah Gammon.
Camera IconMingenew Bakery owner Sarah Gammon.

One of the best-known bakeries in regional WA has notched up its busiest day in more than a decade, selling enough pies and cakes to feed the town’s entire population.

It was standing room only in the Mingenew Bakery last Thursday as the owners turned over a massive $10,000 thanks to droves of Expo-goers and a bumper wildflower season.

Thousands descended on the farming town 360km north of Perth for the McIntosh and Son Mingenew Midwest Expo last week — and many stopped in for a cuppa, pie and a sweet treat or two.

The combination of Expo attendees and wildflower enthusiasts — who are up in huge numbers to see one of the earliest and best seasons in years after an abundance of rain — made for a record-breaking day of trade.

Owners Sarah and Chris Gammon — who have had the bakery for about nine years — were run off their feet on the Wednesday and Thursday.

They sold out of every-thing, despite making triple the amount of baked goods they normally would during the tourism season.

Thursday was particularly busy, with 541 transactions, up from 460 on the Wednesday.

“We did close to $10,000 on the Thursday, so we smashed (last Expo) where we did $8000,” Mrs Gammon said.

Mingenew Bakery owner Sarah Gammon.
Camera IconMingenew Bakery owner Sarah Gammon. Credit: Picture: Shannon Verhagen

It was more than double the 260 transactions they did on the previous Thursday.

In non-tourism season, they might get 120 people — mainly locals and people passing by — through the door, she said. “I think the early wildflower season had something to do with it — plus on the days of the Expo, the sun was shining and there was no rain so a lot of people came out for it,” Mrs Gammon said.

On the Thursday they woke up at 2am to get cooking, and the crowds kept coming until 4pm, when they closed the doors.

I don’t think the coffee machine stopped from the moment we opened the door.

Sarah Gammon

“It was chaotic — it was non-stop running around on your feet all day.

“There was no room to move.

“I had to go up to Expo myself for something and I got these texts saying ‘We need your help, come back now’.”

It was a similar story down the road at the local watering hole, with the Commercial Hotel booked out and serving up a whopping 110 meals on Thursday night.

Originally from Cootamundra in NSW, Mr and Mrs Gammon headed west in 2007 to Kununurra, before settling in Mingenew, where Mrs Gammon got a job at the bakery with the previous owners.

Always having had a passion for baking, the pair then bought the business a few years later, and have renovated and made it their own.

The local bread and pie shop has made a name for itself over the years as a must-do on every Mid West traveller’s itinerary.

In the past three years, Mrs Gammon said there had been a notable increase in the number of visitors passing through town during wildflower season, and with people travelling within WA because of COVID-19, visitor numbers were booming.

Normally running with eight staff, the team got through the Expo with just four — an incredible effort for which Mrs Gammon said she was very grateful.

I’m just so thankful for all of our staff and their hard work and for everyone supporting us.

Sarah Gammon

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