25 years of rollin’ in the dough

Temptation Bakeries award-winning pies

Cameron Howe, The Mordialloc Chronicle
August 1, 2018

Picking up a swathe of accolades along the way, Temptation Bakeries started 25 years ago as just a small gourmet pie shop in Mornington, before relocating to Chelsea Heights.

Attending the Mornington Racecourse Market and Melbourne markets was once a regular occurrence for the venture started by Mike and Pauline Ratcliff. With contracts to Ansett and then Qantas, Temptation Bakeries has now grown to employ 140 people.

The fit-out of the Chelsea Heights site in 2014 was reported to total $2.5 million and further investment is to come following product launches with Coles, Woolworths, Costco and Aldi.

General Manager, Angus Ratcliff says Temptation’s appetite for growth has not been without some roadblocks along the way. “As a major supplier to the airlines, when Ansett Airlines went out of business, this cost us and many other people a lot of money. It put the business under strain for a period of time,” he said.

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In November 2016, the business was acquired by Bakery Investment Group, who intend to employ up to a further 40 people across their Chelsea Heights and Langwarrin sites. Yet still the Ratcliff family’s popular $5 pie deal has been a stayer and has not increased in price despite containing a traditional beef pie, can of soft drink and slice of cake!

Temptation was awarded Gold for their gluten-free chunky beef pie in 2017 and in 2014 for their beef and ale pie, which featured brown ale from Mornington Peninsula Brewery. While their quiches are sold in all major supermarkets, they now cater to a growing niche with their gourmet chicken and Crittenden Estate chardonnay pie.

“Ten years ago it would be crazy to think of using premium chardonnay made on the Mornington Peninsula to make pies, but consumer’s tastes are definitely becoming more sophisticated, and last year we produced products with premium Australian ingredients,” said Mr Ratcliff.

Hand-garnished, aromatic pies will be a popular reward for many this winter at 8/213-223 Wells Rd, Chelsea Heights.

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