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Ferguson Plarre’s Moonee Ponds store has changed hands after 25 years

 

Family-owned Victorian bakery, Ferguson Plarre’s Bakehouse has bid farewell to its Moonee Ponds franchisee, Marie Burrafato, after more than 25 years with the business. Marie, who took over the franchise with her husband Sam in the early 2000’s, retired in March after over two decades at the iconic Puckle Street, Moonee Ponds store. Ferguson Plarre has been trading in Melbourne since 1901 and the Moonee Ponds store is their  oldest, opening in 1911, and is also the longest trading business on Puckle Street. 

 

 

 

Marie Burrafato, who finished up in March, said she would miss her team and regular customers but was looking forward to retirement and a change of pace. “I have loved working at Ferguson Plarre and will miss coming to the store every day, which has become like a second home to me. I have been lucky to meet so many incredible customers and colleagues over the last 25 years.

 

“A lot has changed in the area since I first took over the ownership of the store but the quality food, drinks and sense of community always remained the same,” she added. The new store owners, David and Audrey Camilleri, who bought the franchise from Mrs Burrafato in late March, said they were already thoroughly enjoying serving the Moonee Ponds community.

 

“It’s an honour to take over the business from Marie who worked there for such a long time. I’m enjoying meeting the regulars and getting to know the Moonee Ponds locals,” David said. “Audrey and I are settling in well so far and have been warming welcomed by the Moonee Ponds community. We have really hit the ground running with our team!”

 

Ferguson Plarre’s Bakehouse CEO Steve Plarre wanted to thank Marie for her dedication and commitment to the company for more than two decades. “25 years is a very impressive stint. I’d like to thank Marie for her dedication and wish her all the best in her next chapter.

 

“We’ve been operating in Moonee Ponds since 1911 and while the look of the store has changed since then, the handmade cakes, quality pies and pastries remain the same. We have proudly fed Melburnians for more than 110 years,” Steve added.

 

When the Bakehouse, then Plarre’s Cakes, first opened, by master pastry chef Otto Plarre, trams, horses and carts were still running down Puckle Street, and there were vacant blocks and paddocks close at hand.

 

Otto’s pastry chef skills were honed in Munich, Paris and London and the design of the Moonee Ponds store harks back to those European roots for inspiration. The fit out reflects the early European roots of Ferguson Plarre’s Bakehouse, whilst remaining modern and stylish.

 

The Bakehouse at Moonee Ponds and the Plarre family’s talent was so well known that in 1963 when Queen Elizabeth II visited Australia to lead the Canberra jubilee celebrations, Eileen Plarre (Otto’s daughter in-law), then known as “The First Lady of Puckle Street,” was personally requested to bake her famous “Fancies” for the Queen at Parliament House.

 

Otto’s motto was “Quality, Variety & Good Service,” a motto that the Plarre family still continue to uphold today with the fourth generation of Plarre’s in charge. Michael Plarre carries on Otto’s tradition as the head pastry chef whilst CEO Steve Plarre looks after the retail side of the business as Ferguson Plarre continues its mission to bring happiness to its customers through food.

 

The Moonee Ponds store is the perfect place to meet for a coffee, sweet treat or lunch, and enjoy a fresh donut or award-winning pie, pasty or sausage roll that Ferguson Plarre is known for. Famous for its Tiddly Oggie, a traditional pasty made with beef and vegetables, Ferguson Plarre has won awards for many of its favourite products, from hot cross buns to decorated cakes.

 

The savoury range now includes a gluten-free classic beef pie and a gluten free sausage roll, as well as several vegan-friendly pastries, including a plant based Aussie pie and a plant-based Tiddly Oggie. The products are made using the best fresh ingredients, locally sourced where possible. For example, their savouries are made using 100% Victorian beef sourced from farmers near Kyneton, Geelong and Warrnambool or free-range Victorian chicken.

 

All of Ferguson Plarre’s delicious cakes, pies and pastries are created at its central Keilor Park bakehouse and shipped fresh each day to its 80 stores across Melbourne and regional Victoria. Each week the bakehouse produces more than 300,000 products, the best selling of which is the Classic Sausage Roll, with over 17,000 baked and delivered to stores. 

 

 

There are lots of exciting things in the works for Ferguson Plarre’s Bakehouse including more stores set to open in the near future. The Moonee Ponds store is located at 54 Puckle Street and is open seven days a week. 

 

For more information about Ferguson Plarre’s Bakehouse or becoming a franchisee, visit fergusonplarre.com.au.