Maketu Pies is officially under new management after a local iwi trust swooped in and saved the day. So, what does the future look like for the much-loved brand? Existing staff get to keep their jobs but is there a smell of new pie flavours in the air? Zoe Hunter finds out.
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Existing Maketu Pies workers will get to keep their jobs under new management, which has plans to expand the iconic Bay of Plenty business.
Maketu Foods Limited, a commercial subsidiary of Te Arawa Lakes Trust, bought Maketu Pies after the business went into receivership in September.
A special karakia was held at Maketu Pies on Little Waihi Rd this morning to mark the first day under new management.
Commercial manager for Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Cassandra Crowley, has confirmed all current employees will get to keep their jobs.
"All current employees were offered a role with the new management," she said. "We hope over time we will increase the staff and keep growing the business."
Crowley said the new owners were excited about the future.
"They are already talking about our pies and what we need to make more of," she said.
Asked whether that meant there was a possibility of new pie flavours, Crowley said it was too early to say.
"Let's just say we have some very talented team members with some great ideas for great new pies," she said.
Maketu Health and Social Services whanau ora co-ordinator Corrine Paul, whose daughter works at the pie shop, said the local kaumatua thanked the trust for buying the business and keeping it in Maketū employment.
Paul understood everything would stay the same under new management but it would just take time for the new owners and staff to find their feet.
"It is a big positive for the community," she said. "Maketu Pies will stay in Maketū."
Maketū-Te Puke ward councillor John Scrimgeour said the news that all existing staff got to keep their jobs was "awesome news for Maketū".
"There is so little employment right in Maketū itself, particularly for people who are not able to travel much, it is fantastic to have jobs right there," he said.
"Hopefully the expansion opportunities may come to pass and that will create even more opportunities."