Local company, locally minded. That’s the philosophy of Pye Provedores. Co-owner Brett Pye talks to us about the company.
You have been in business locally for over 25 years. Give us an overview of who Pye Provedores is and how it all started?
Back in 1985, Dad, brother Phil and I started with humble beginnings – a truck, a freezer and a few core lines like Table Talk Chickens and Master Maid Ice Cream, along with fresh Barra Prawns and Tassie Scallops.
Before that, I had finished my marine mechanic course and Phil worked for Commodore Computers. One day our father rang us, as we had both moved to Sydney and asked if we wanted to do what he used to. He had owned Port Macquarie Frozen Foods, which was eventually bought out by Campbell’s and Dad still had his old depot … so that is exactly what we did. Good idea, Mum and Dad … thanks.
The company has grown immensely since its early days. Give us an overview of its growth.
When we started, Wauchope still had a telephone exchange, and you were manually transferred by the lovely lady on the switch. Our wage – a whopping $5,000 pa! For the first year it was basically the three of us, but we grew slowly, introduced new and different lines, like battered fish and crumbed drumsticks.
Back then, most shops went to the Fish Co-op and made their own chips! There certainly wasn’t the variety of products that are available today. These days, our footprint covers from Forster to Coffs and from Wauchope to Lord Howe; our most distant customer is a mine in Papua New Guinea.
Two years ago we moved into our bigger, brighter warehouse, where we stock over 600 pallets of frozen goods and similar in dry and chilled products. We are able to serve more customers and towns with our professional service and wide product range.
Your focus has always been on supporting the local community. What are some of the ways you do that?
We have always been locally minded. We came to Port in 1970, after arriving from NZ. We lived in many caravan parks, and we did it tough! That’s why we are all always behind local charities. We know the work they do is extremely important and very much appreciated. We support everyone, from Disabled Surfers to the Salvos. It’s vital that local businesses give something back to the local community. Too often the multi-national conglomerates are taking big profits out of a town and only paying a rental and wages. Phil and I take great pride in being able to give something back to the town we grew up in.
As a local business, you still have the buying power of Countrywide. Tell us what that means for the local businesses you service.
We have the best of both worlds being part of Countrywide, a national buying group of independents, and that makes us a wholly local business with the national buying power of the big companies.
How do you maintain great customer service and satisfaction?
Our guys are great at looking after our customers. Almost half our staff have been with us over 10 years – a statistic of which I am personally proud. We endeavour to service our customers, so they get what they want, when they want it and at the right price. Going by our success, I believe we have achieved that, with our dedicated staff and loyal customers.
What plans do you have for the business this year?
Our future is simple. Continue to employ local people and look after them. Continue to be part of our customers’ success and of course to continue to give love back into our fantastic local community.
They say: “The people who have got it right live where people love to holiday”.