It seems you can’t keep a good man down.
The man behind the “best pies this side of the Blue Mountains” is back and baking!
After selling his wildly popular Whitey’s Pies business in 2015, Geoff White, thought he’d be happy playing a bit of golf and simply enjoy being able to keep ordinary hours. But it seems he discovered that an early retirement just isn’t for him.
“A year after I sold the pie shop I realised I'm way too mad to be a retiree, so me and my daughter bought this business back,” said Geoff, referring to The Smoko Shed in Leewood industrial estate, the original home of Whitey’s Pies.
And as of this year, Geoff is back baking his famous pies once again. He claims they’re the “best pies this side of the Blue Mountains”.
“It was a breath of fresh air; it was almost like having me life back, really!” said Geoff, describing what it was like making pies again.
“I was out of the game for four years. I had to really go back through me memory bank and a bit of trial and error on things. There were a few roughies that came out at the start, but we got there and it's right!
‘Making Pies Great Again’ is the slogan Geoff has adopted for his renewed business and, this writer can attest, he truly does make a great pie.
“For me it is all just about the pastry,” said Geoff, when asked about the secret to a good pie. “You need that flaky pastry that just flakes off the top.”
Geoff learnt his trade in the late 70s, working as an apprentice at the Monty Cake Shop.
“Brian's pies were a part of the Monty Cake shop when I was a kid and so that was where I learned to make a pie,” said Geoff.
After a bit of time out of the kitchen working in the family truck transport business, Geoff took on the Mountain Tea House in 1994.
Then in 2002, Geoff bought the Smoko Shed and realised that there was as need for a good local pie shop in Orange.
“I realised the joint needed somewhere to get a real pie,” he said. “At the start they were going to be called Geoff's Pies but it didn't have a familiar enough ring. So, we called it Whitey's Pies and we started supplying ourselves, then all of a sudden everyone wanted them!” he said.
“It ended up being a massive gig. We had all the schools the golf clubs, the sporting events and four bakers.”
This time around Geoff is content to do things on a smaller scale as he would much rather be in the kitchen than spending his days in an office.
“I love cooking and that's what I like,” he said. “And that's why we're just going to keep it so the only place in the world you can buy a Whitey's Pie or any of our products is Whitey's Smoko Shed and we're going to keep it like that.
“We don't buy anything in, and we don’t supply anywhere else. All our bread is rolls, all our cakes, everything is made here, so you know it's made that day.
“It’s full bore all day, but I'm glad that I’m back!”