Who will buy the pies? That's the big question circulating in the small Bay of Plenty town of Maketū, where the biggest single employer Maketu Pies went into receivership last week. There has been high interest from prospective buyers since the announcement but one high-profile Bay piemaker has decided against putting in an offer, Zoe Hunter reports.
Prospective buyers have been through the doors of Maketu Pies today, but one high-profile Tauranga pie maker has decided against putting in an offer.
The Bay of Plenty company went into receivership last week due to its "critical financial position".
The business has been operating in Maketū for about 36 years and is the community's biggest employer of about 40 staff, mostly locals. The shop on Little Waihi Rd is owned by husband and wife Grant and Karen Wilson.
A notice published in the Bay of Plenty Times yesterday stated that Thomas Rodewald and Kenneth Brown were appointed as joint receivers.
• Premium - Maketu Pies in receivership, community devastated: 'It has employed so much of Maketu'
• Premium - Who will buy the pies? High interest in iconic brand Maketu Pies
• Who bought all the pies? Maketu may be snapped up next week
• Arrests made after cars targeted on Te Ngae Rd
"The best option was to put [the company] into receivership to enable it to continue to trade. It is a bit early to say how it got to this point and to estimate what has caused the issue," Thomas Rodewald told the Bay of Plenty Times yesterday.
Rodewald said there had been a "reasonable amount" of interest from people who had been through the business this morning.
"I am still hopeful for a sale next week," he said.
Award-winning Tauranga baker and Patrick's Pies owner, Patrick Lam, said he had considered buying the bakery.
However, Lam, who has won the Bakels New Zealand Supreme Pie Award seven times, said he was advised not to because he specialised in retail business rather than wholesale.
"We have never done that wholesale business before, only retail," he said.
Say cheese: Pat Lam reveals secret to NZ's best pie
One pie to rule them all - Pat Lam crowned Lord of the Pies
"We are completely different to them. We are just a small production."
Lam said he knew Maketu Pies owner Grant Wilson well, having bumped into him at the Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards in Auckland each year.
"I feel really sorry for him," he said. "It is so sad for this to happen to him."
The Wilsons could not be contacted for comment.