There was always a Butchart's Bakery in Hawera and there's always been a Butcharts in Whanganui.

And the local bakery has done it again at the prestigious Bakels Pie Competition.

Originally started by Cameron Butchart's great-grandfather, the bakery was carried on by his grandfather, although when he came back from World War II he had no intention of taking over the family bakery.

"He wanted to go to a farm but my grandmother, my Nana, she wanted to stay in town," Butchart said.

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Seven decades later, Cameron is the fourth generation of Butcharts to work in the family business, and has been baking here for 15 years. But his career in the kitchen started much earlier.

"I always liked baking when I was a kid. I did home economics and all that sort of stuff, and I actually quite enjoyed it.

"I remember being home on the weekend and I made biscuits. I don't know if that's normal for children to make biscuits when they're by themselves - I could have gone and bought biscuits but I made biscuits."

The pie prize comes after a three-year break from competitive baking.

"I lost my old man, my dad, in June 2016. I ended up entering the pie competition that year and had a bit of a tearful trip on the way up. That was his and my thing. I did it but he supported me," Butchart said.

"This year I just thought, we'll have another go."

And it paid off with the team taking out a silver for a very unique flavour of pie.

"I've been doing a cheeseburger pie for quite a long time, so I ended up doing a vegetarian cheeseburger pie! It's a BBQ cheeseburger pie, so it's also got a bit of bacon in there as well but it's completely vegetarian - so the bacon is vegetarian. There's no bacon in it."

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And while right now he's riding a high, running the family business comes at a price.

"I'm working here 12-13 hours out the back. I don't get to mingle with anyone. So that's a bit of a downfall."

Winning another prize makes up for it, and Butchart says the secret to his success is a supportive team and one very special family legacy.

"Everything is passed down from my great grandfather, my grandfather, my dad ... if it wasn't for them we wouldn't have the support that we have now.

"Everyone's moving back to Whanganui, and that means people are coming back and enjoying what they used to have. And we're still here, since 1947 and we're just getting busier."

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