Just like Tip Top icecream, the Chelsea Sugar Factory, the Cadbury Factory and beer breweries show, good food (and beer) can be a tourist attraction in itself.
People flock to food and beverage factories to see how things are made. It's exciting to see the process and where the magic happens.
In the Bay of Plenty, while people don't exactly flock there, Maketu Pies is an asset just like the Tip Top Factory.
It's an asset to the roughly 40 locals employed at the factory and to the thousands around the region who enjoy the pies.
The pies are stocked in most major supermarkets including Countdown, Pak'nSave, New World and Four Square stores.
One hundred, sometimes 200, pies fly off the shelves at its neighbouring dairy each day.
This week the Bay of Plenty Times revealed Maketu Pies was in receivership 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.
But the brand is for sale and one of the receivers says there are a number of "interested parties".
In the days after the announcement prospective buyers went through the doors of Maketu Pies.
Award-winning Tauranga baker and Patrick's Pies owner, Patrick Lam, considered and decided against buying the bakery.
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Te Arawa iwi have also expressed interest.
Speaking of Patrick's Pies, he's been crowned the supreme winner at the New Zealand pie awards seven times since 2003.
Lam owns Patrick's Pies in Bethlehem, Tauranga Crossing plus Gold Star Bakery on Old Taupo Rd in Rotorua.
Surely the Bay of Plenty must be the unofficial home of pies.
To lose Maketu Pies would be to lose a Bay icon, to lose the town's identity and, for many, to lose employment.
For those who don't know where Maketū is, eating a Maketu Pie makes them find out and puts the town on the map.
In March 2018 Cadbury moved production to Australia after bids to find a local manufacturer failed.
At its peak, more than 350 workers were employed there.
As a result revenue in that calendar year dropped from $296.6 million the year before to $211.8m. Profits declined and the city lost an icon.
Let's not allow Maketu Pies to be the Bay of Plenty's Cadbury factory.