Blue Pear Pantry
Meet Deb Graham, owner of Blue Pear Pantry, located in North Warrandyte, VIC
Tell Us A Little Something About Yourself
Mum of 2, wife of 1. Love being in the kitchen teaching the kids life skills. In the same year I started BPP, I ran my first half marathon. Not sure which was harder :)
What Inspired You To Start Your Own Business?
I needed to re-enter the workforce after having kids as they would both be in school. I had a fast food management background as well as project management and office administration. Great cornerstones for starting a food business.
We've been in business for 5 years and now my 10 year old even decided to start his own lemonade business along side BPP at our local market. It is remarkable how much he has absorbed in listening to and watching his Mum.
I could not be more proud of him and his employee (sister).
What Does Your Business Offer, And What Makes It Unique?
We support local FIRST.
Our products are made using fresh produce and local ingredients without preservatives or additives. We use Grass fed beef and free range chicken straight from the farmers wherever possible, and from our local butcher. Our packaging is eco friendly and recyclable after use.
What Does Your Journey Look Like?
I started out work at a large fast food restaurant where I was for 13 years. 5 of those were spent in management where I learned everything about food handling and safety, skills which I use on a daily basis now. After my time there I went on to work at a project management company specializing in office fit outs (mainly for a bank).
I then met my husband, had babies, and when they were school age I was eager to go back to work. I applied online for a number of positions but I couldn't seem to spark any interest from them. I knew others that had started their own business, so I thought that I could too.
Fast forward, and we have now been awarded with 12 industry awards during our 5 years, from Australian Food Awards (AFA), Great Aussie Pie, Great Aussie Sausage Roll and Australia's Best Pie Competitions. It seems, I know how to cook!! :)
BPP started with a range of home cooked meals, after winning the AFA Silver medal, we changed our whole business to sausage rolls. Added Gluten Free rolls, then pies and our latest family pie range.
Did You Always Think You'd Be Doing This?
NEVER! People are more selective of the food they eat rather than the clothes they wear. I wanted to be a vet - I love animals.
Our first award - being recognised by industry peers was the best feeling and I made it with my own two hands, and my own recipes.
What Are The Most Rewarding And Challenging Parts Of Your Job And Owning Your Own Business?
Owning a business is a rollercoaster most often daily.
For me, realising how much my kids are learning by observation and discussion, and subsequently starting their own business is highly rewarding. Receiving awards is amazing - it keeps me on track knowing that my products, made in my home kitchen are of industry standard.
The biggest challenge I have is getting people to understand my product and how it differs to what they perceive a sausage roll to be. Once they try it, they love it!
Whats Your End Goal? The Moment You'll Know You've Achieved What You Want To?
Short term - Survive Covid
Long term - to be available in most retails stores across VIC
By the time I achieve that, I'm sure I'll have other goals to aspire to...