DEDICATED TEAM: Hanks Kitchen employees Alice Golding, Tracey Becker and Lisa McLaurin and some of Hanks Kitchen's fan favourites.
DEDICATED TEAM: Hanks Kitchen employees Alice Golding, Tracey Becker and Lisa McLaurin and some of Hanks Kitchen's fan favourites. Jarrard Potter

Why popular bakery drives people crazy for a pie

FOR many, the thought of driving for hours just to buy a pie might seem a little crazy, but this is the kind of devotion that the baked wares from Hanks Kitchen has spawned.

When it comes to stories of people's lengths they'd go to just to have a bite of a Hanks pie or sausage roll, owner Chrissy Hancock has heard them all.

"We've had lots of feedback over the years whether it be on Facebook or with postcards, begging and pleading that we open a franchise far and wide," she said.

"There are previous residents of the area who have moved away for work or school and they come back and buy $100 worth of products just so they can stock up their freezer.

"They say they can't find anything like Hanks anywhere else so they travel here just to come to the shop and buy a pie or a loaf of bread."

JIM CLARK, Grafton: I like the good service and tasty stuff they sell. I like their quiches.
JIM CLARK, Grafton: I like the good service and tasty stuff they sell. I like their quiches. Jarrard Potter

It's a dedication that Mrs Hancock says helps make the long hours her husband Aaron and all the other bakers and staff worth it.

"That sort of feedback is priceless and we love it," she said.

"That's what gets the boys out of bed at midnight. Some of the hours are very tough, and there's a physical and emotional strain on them, so that sort of feedback definitely makes it worthwhile."

It should come as now surprise then that when the Facebook call-out was made on The Daily Examiner's page that Hanks came out on top by an overwhelming majority.

KATE BOWMAN, Bateau Bay and BELINDA CHAPMAN, Fineflower: They're just awesome. The kids love their pies and cakes, and we just ordered a birthday cake and bread rolls for a party.
KATE BOWMAN, Bateau Bay and BELINDA CHAPMAN, Fineflower: They're just awesome. The kids love their pies and cakes, and we just ordered a birthday cake and bread rolls for a party. Jarrard Potter

Mrs Hancock said the quality of the product is something the team really prides itself on, and they owe their success to an old family recipe more than 60 years old.

"The pie recipe actually comes from Aaron's grandfather who owned Crown Bakery in Queen St," she said.

"A quality product is the first thing, and the boys work really hard and pride themselves on making the best quality product they can.

"We are proud of the team we have, and it's a combined effort. The bakers out the back that you don't see, that's where the quality comes from."

ROD WORRELL, Grafton: I've been working for Hanks pretty much since they opened, so I've been coming here a long time.SEBASTIAN WORRELL, Grafton: I love the pies, the cheese and bacon ones are the best.
ROD WORRELL, Grafton: I've been working for Hanks pretty much since they opened, so I've been coming here a long time.SEBASTIAN WORRELL, Grafton: I love the pies, the cheese and bacon ones are the best. Jarrard Potter

If there's one other thing that Hanks is known for, it's customer service.

"We like to give the girls plenty of ongoing training and make sure it's a nice work environment," Mrs Hancock said.

"They believe in the product and the store, so that means they give nice customer service as a result."

The top bakeries in the Clarence Valley as voted by you:
  1. Hanks Kitchen
  2. Maclean Hot Bread
  3. Henwood's Hot Bread Shop
  4. Plantation Organic Bakery
  5. Yamba Street Bakery
  6. Prince Street Bakery and Takeaway
  7. Yamba Bread Shop
  8. Jacaranda Bakery


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