Fine Food at 40: Pies and Progress with Simple Simon Pie Machines

Jun 28, 2024

We spotlight Simple Simon, a family business that has skillfully carved out a niche in pie-making and equipment manufacturing over a flourishing four decades.

The family-owned business marked its 40th anniversary this year, led by Dani Lindsay, daughter of Founder, Tom Lindsay, quite literally grew up alongside Simple Simon. Our conversation explored their evolution from the business’s founding to its current standing as a leader in the industry, the story tells of their commitment to, and passion for, the foodservice sector, particularly through the Official Great Aussie Pie Competition.

The Recipe for Early Success

The journey began with the launch of Lindsay PieMaking Equipment, an Australian company designing, developing, manufacturing and installing Pie Making Equipment since 1984.
Fast forward to 1989 and a meeting during that year’s Fine Food Australia Show, John Ross from Pastrycooks and Bakers News Monthly and Craig Perry, previously with GFW Foodservice, cooked up the idea of an annual contest to determine “the best meat pie in Australia.” Their vision was to lift the quality of pies across the nation and to offer a platform that attracts significant media exposure for pie makers looking to make a bigger impact on the fast-food industry. Tom Lindsay, friends with both Ross and Perry, was quick to put Linsday PieMaking Equipment forward as one of The Great Aussie Pie Competition’s first sponsors in the 1999 debut.

Broadening the Bake

After more than two decades of success for The Official Great Aussie Pie Competition, the turn of the millennium saw Dani take over the competition management in 2012. This shift also included the broadening of the competition’s reach by introducing categories such as vegan, gluten-free & sausage roll categories. The expansion not only catered to changing market demands but also highlighted the competition’s role in establishing industry benchmarks for the organisations developing innovative products in the pie making industry. “We wanted to provide an award for those companies making great products, outside of the traditional meat pies” Dani explained.

The Official Great Aussie Pie Competition, under the guidance of the Aussie Pie Council, continues to set the standard for excellence in pie and sausage roll making across the country. With over 30 years of history, the competition has fostered a spirit of pride and passion among bakers and pastry chefs, creating the industry’s benchmark for excellence.

A Lifetime of Connections at Fine Food Australia

Dani says Fine Food Australia has offered a stage to showcase their advanced pie-making machinery and building connections within the industry for both Simple Simon and The Official Great Aussie Pie Competition. “We’re very proud and love being involved with Fine Food. We’re going to be around for many more great years to come.” Dani enthused about their continuous participation with Fine Food, “I’ve been heading along to Fine Food my entire life” she shared, reflecting on her company’s dedication to what they feel is a critical industry event.

A Commitment to Hard Work and Excellence 

Despite the technological advances and industry accolades, the core of Simple Simon remains with its family-oriented ethos. They pride themselves on their roots and the fact that it comes down to doing what they love: Its easy to work hard on something you are so passionate about, whether it’s selling, manufacturing  or installing the equipment for our customers, running the “The Official Great Aussie Pie Competition” and liaising with all the amazing people in this fantastic industry.

As Fine Food Australia marks its 40th anniversary, it takes immense pride in its long-standing association with organisations like Simple Simon and The Official Great Aussie Pie Competition. Witnessing their evolution and success year after year underlines Fine Food’s dedication to supporting the foodservice industry, making this milestone not just a celebration of longevity but of shared success, too.

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