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A Big Parramatta Bread Factory

July 21, 2020 by Darryl Hodgson

Kennards Self Storage proudly supports the heritage and history of the local Parramatta community. Customers will recognise the little heritage cottage on the corner of Una Street, on the property that is our Parramatta Self Storage centre, 105 Wigram Street, Harris Park.

We are excited to be nearly complete with an adaptive reuse of the heritage cottage at this location. The building had suffered from several ills over the years and whilst expensive, it was important to our team at Kennards Storage to keep the building and where we have been able to, bring it back to its former glory. Our construction team are in the final throws of achieving DA permissions for the exterior of the cottage. Our internal rescue and improvements are nearly complete. We are aiming for the launch of this cottage and its exciting new use for sometime in August.

With all this in mind, we did some searching, looking for the history of the site and were pleased to locate this lovely article preserved in TROVE

It took a little bit of ‘digital cleaning up’ but this article has been proudly translated and reproduced from Trove, originally appearing in “The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW: 1888 – 1950) Sat 6 May 1916 \ Page 4, 104 years ago.


We hope readers enjoy this charming little piece of local Parramatta history.

A Big’ Parramatta Bread Factory

A Progressive and Enterprising Firm.

Ten years ago two Parramatta young men, Messrs. Geo. Gambrill and Donald McKay, commenced business as bakers on their own account at Wigram street, Harris Park. They did their baking in a small brick structure 20ft. long by 18ft. wide, containing one oven, and turned out about 200 loaves a day.

At that time this building and the output seemed big items to them. Both young men demonstrated unusual business acumen, and placed on the market a really first-class article. This, together with their integrity and attention to their business and tho wants of their rapidly increasing customers, had the effect of making their business grow. So great, indeed, was their growth that after nine years in the old place it became an absolute necessity for them to expand and extend their factory. With their well-known enterprise, this expansion was decided upon, with the result that to-day Parramatta has undoubtedly the most up to date bread factory this side of city. We were courteously shown over the place this week, and were at once struck with the evidences of cleanliness which greet the eye at every turn.

Messrs. Gambrill and McKay have had built a fine brick factory 51ft. long by 40ft. broad by 31ft. high. The building contains two floors. On the top floor tho flour is made, into dough by a patent electrically-driven dough-mixer, and all tho dough-troughs being on castors. The dough is transferred to the ground floor by means of chutes and is there moulded into loaves and prepared for the oven by five operative bakers, who look spic and span in their white caps and aprons. Tho dough is then transferred direct from the tables to the ovens. There are three of the latest Hitchins’ ovens (one of them being a steam Vienna oven) and two old ovens. These have a capacity of 400 loaves each. When baked the bread is taken from the oven and placed on trollies, which are wheeled right to the oven-mouth, filled up, and wheeled direct to the bread-room; so that, the bread has only one handling from the oven until it is placed in the carts. The whole factory is brilliantly lighted with electricity, and the floors are of ironite, which prevents the accumulation of dirt that, would occur in wooden floors.

Apart from the bread-making, Messrs. Gambrill and McKay have had a most up-to-date plant installed for the making of all classes of pastry and sweets, including wedding and birthday cakes and catering in all its branches. Special attention too, has been given to the yards and stables, cleanliness being ever kept in view. The yards are all laid with bricks. The stables, also of brick, are built to accommodate a dozen horses and 10 carts. As showing the extent of their expansion, it may be noted that the firm is now running eight carts. Their output has increased from 200 loaves to 2000 per day, and they use ten tons of flour a week. This enterprising firm naturally feels very grateful to the Parramatta public for the support, accorded to them in the infancy of their industry, and they were not backward in expressing that gratitude to us during our visit.

Their hope now is that, with facilities for turning out an article even better than that which has been pleasing their customers for so many years, the public will, by increased patronage, show their appreciation of the progressive and enterprising step which they have taken. They ask us to extend a hearty invitation to all who feel interested to pay a visit of inspection to their factory. Any time will suit them for a call.

We congratulate Messrs. Gambrill and McKay and trust that they will find that their enterprise is meeting with the support it deserves. Messrs. Gambrill and McKay also have a fine shop for the display and sale of their choice goods in Church Street, Parramatta, near the Town Hall. This is always amply stocked with high-class pastry and confectionery.

Their commodious dining-hall is also very liberally patronised, and the firm is earning a great reputation for caterers to all kinds of functions.

Some illustrations in today’s ‘Argus’ give only an idea of the extent of the firm’s business premises.

Darryl Hodgson

With nearly 25 years of business management and leadership experience Darryl has been part of the Kennards team for over a decade. Having gained his start in hospitality beginning at Adelaide Casino before joining the opening team as Food and Beverage Operations Manager and Licensee at Star City in Sydney. With a Bachelor of Business, Darryl’s key responsibilities include the performance of the business and support of the teams across NSW and ACT. As the teams customer experience expert Darryl is passionate about developing team expertise and building upon opportunities in the business. A long term motor sport fan and participant, Darryl also enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including SCUBA, Kayaking and Soccer. As the teams self-appointed science geek he has become the teams go to man for help with their kids school assignments or the next major NASA announcement.

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