A $750,000 upgrade of Valentines Bakehouse in Rutherglen is expected to create 20 jobs.
Plans were unveiled on Tuesday as Northern Victoria MLC Jaclyn Symes announced a contribution to the Perry Group’s investment from the Victorian government.
The bakery on Main Street is one of five locations in the region run by Harry Perry with his brother Joe and sister Matilda.
“Currently this is our production facility (at Rutherglen) for all locations – it was never really built or intended for that purpose,” Mr Perry said.
“We’re really ramping things up – building a whole new bake-house out the back and a whole new retail space out the front here, so we can cope with the demands of our current production.”
Roasting of White Owl Coffee, which the siblings supply to more than 10 businesses in total, will move from The Barista, Baker and Brewer on Wodonga Place in South Albury to the renovated shop in Rutherglen.
This roastery and the new bake-house, to be built on an empty lot behind the building by June 2019, will have glass walls and be accessible for viewing for locals and visitors.
“We've outgrown that space a bit (for roasting) – this will be much more practical,” Mr Perry said.
“We mooted this idea about 12 months ago and we’re now about to go to council with the plans.
“We’ll need quite an addition to the baking team – we've already started getting applications for apprentice bakers – we’ll need delivery drivers, front-of-house staff – there’s basically 20 news positions from this build itself.
“It wouldn’t have got going as quickly as it has without the government funding we’ve received.”
Ms Symes could not say how much the state government had contributed to the $750,000 upgrade but said all businesses were welcome to apply for the same funding.
“For commercial-in-confidence reasons the exact amounts are never disclosed in these matters, but this is an expansion the company have embarked on and with the jobs it’s creating, the Andrews Labor government is very happy to be contributing financially,” she said.
“The contribution is from the regional jobs and infrastructure fund and it’s a rolling grants program – this is facilitated by Regional Development Victoria who are always very happy to sit down and talk to anybody in country Victoria about their projects.
“There’s a lot happening in Rutherglen.”
Ms Symes also met with Destination Rutherglen and Rutherglen IGA to deliver a boosting business productivity program grant.
She also visited Wangaratta firefighters to officially launch a new $800,000 pumper allocated through the CFA’s Growth Program.
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