The Pocket Storehouse is planning to extend its bakery floor and owner Rick Nelson says if approved it will double the size of the kitchen.
In April the East Bundaberg bakery will celebrate three years of providing the beautiful, organic sourdough to the Bundaberg Region, and the small business has been growing every year.
Rick said plans were currently in the drafting stage and if approved the expansion would give him the possibility to hire another staff member and more importantly give his current six casual staff more hours, as well as providing wheelchair access to the building.
“We started this business three years ago in April and it’s grown tenfold,” he said.
“These plans are in the drafting stage at the moment but it’s exciting.
“We are hoping to expand the carport area and gain access from Quay Street.”
Up to 800 loaves of a sourdough a week
The Pocket Storehouse currently produces between 600-800 loaves of sourdough bread each week and other baked items made by Rick’s wife Susan.
Rick said the current space in the kitchen limited the number of people who were able to work at the same time.
“We have wonderful staff and I really want to give them more hours,” he said.
“But at the moment only two of us can operate in there at any one time.
“The expansion would also give us the opportunity to have wheelchair access which will be just marvellous and give us the possibility to employ people with disabilities.”
Pocket Storehouse expansion to include pizza bases
Looking to the future for The Pocket Storehouse, Rick said if they had more room inside the kitchen there would be the option to make more sourdough pizza bases, something he says isn’t widely available in the current market.
“There is a market there for the pizza bases and no one has really looked at it yet, I would love to get it out there,” Rick said.
“We sell 100 pizza bases on a Saturday and have found it’s just that popular.
“I’m currently hand rolling the pizza bases and the croissants, so if I could have the space for a machine to do this we can produce more.
“I’m seeing potential with the pizza bases and they will go in to Woolies, Coles and IGA and be available at a variety of other places.
“We currently provide sourdough bread to Indulge, Water Street Kitchen, 11 Acres, Coral Cover Convenience Store, 1770 Gateway, Leaf and Bean, The Journey, Gypsy and Folk, Learmonth’s Foodworks, Nana’s Pantry, Last Stop Convivence over North and Insane Caffeine at Childers.”
Rick said although the expansion wouldn’t mean opening The Pocket Storehouse more hours it would allow him to produce more baked goods for the community.
“All of this isn’t about making money, it’s about giving back and educating people about food,” he said.
The Pocket Storehouse is open to the public every Saturday from 7am to 12 noon.