They’ve got a finger in every one of their pork pies

By Riverine Herald

ECHUCA-MOAMA’S prince of porks, Pacdon Park, will dramatically expand its production of pork pies thanks to a helping hand.

Using a $221,577 interest-free loan from the Coles Nurture Fund, it is planned the local business will drive a staggering 20-fold increase in their production of pork pies by buying specialised machinery from the UK.

James Arrowsmith said the new machinery would move production from the current 100 (or so) pork pies an hour to more than 2000 an hour, while removing the need for the manual labour currently required to press and pack each of the pies.

‘‘It’s pulled our business forward more than five years – it’s opened more doors than we can believe,’’ he said.

As well as production efficiencies, the specialised machinery will also let Pacdon Park provide customers with a higher quality and more consistent product, according to James.

Established 11 years ago by James and Jane Arrowsmith and Peter Tonge, Pacdon Park is still one of the only businesses anywhere in Australia that makes pork pies and is still using traditional British methods.

Usually served cold, the British pork pie consists of pork filling, surrounded by a layer of jellied pork stock in crust pastry.

Originally from Lancashire in the UK, James and Peter started the business in Moama while backpacking around Australia.

‘‘Pete and I were backpacking around Australia and we couldn’t find a decent pork pie so we thought we’d start making them ourselves,’’ James said.

‘‘We bought an old dairy, turned it into a commercial kitchen and went from there.’’

The business now sources its pork from locally-grown free range pigs and produces 800-1000 pork pies, 200kg of pork sausages and numerous other products, including bacon, ham and haggis with six full-time staff.

Pacdon Park is stocked in more than 20 Coles supermarkets, predominantly in Melbourne suburbs where there are high numbers of British expats, as well as its own shop, The Pork Pie and Produce Store in High St, Echuca.