Next gen baker hopes M’boro will embrace modern trading hours
TOURISTS from south-east Queensland started coming into the French Hot Bread Shop in Adelaide Street from 7am on Saturday of the October long weekend.
They all asked Teresa Pham the same question.
“They wanted to know what was wrong with Maryborough. Hardly anything else was open for early coffee and food,” said Ms Pham.
She is happy that Maryborough is becoming a popular tourist spot but hopes other businesses think about extending their hours to create an “open for business” feel on the weekends.
Similar thoughts have been voiced by councillors and other civic leaders who feel the inner-city business dynamic needs a re-think in days of recreational “experience” shopping and creative approaches to retail and hospitality sectors.
The popular French Hot Bread Shop is a successful model of a family business with extended hours, open with fresh baked wares from 6am to 7.30pm with early closing only on Sundays. Plans are being hatched to again grow the business.
The Pham family came from an agricultural background in Vietnam, migrating to Australia after the Vietnam war to join other family members in Sydney.
They moved from horticulture to hot bread, learning the French-influenced bakery trade from relatives before moving to Western Australia.
Strong competition made business difficult, so they cast around and 23 years ago fixed their eyes on opportunity in Maryborough.
The takeaway French Hot Bread Shop, with the family living upstairs, quickly gained a following for fresh, consistent bread, pies and cakes.
Young Teresa (Thuy) Pham started helping in the family business when she was in Grade 8, working full-time when she finished high school. Her three siblings also helped in the business.
“They have all moved away now. Some cousins have moved here. My parents will be retiring soon and I will be taking over the business.”
The shop moved to larger premises next door in 2011, expanding to a café business.
Ms Pham has plans for further expansion but she hopes to see other businesses looking to embrace more weekend trading.