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With a company history steeped in family tradition, Earlyrise Baking Company is owned and operated locally by fourth-generation Dubbo baking family, the Stevensons. Brothers Bill, Rob and John can trace their baking history back to 1918 when their grandfather, Aussie Stevenson, established his first bakery. In 1935 their other grandfather, Nicholas Kosseris, opened another local Dubbo bakery. Both Aussie and Nicholas were renowned as local bakery legends in the days when bread, cakes and pies were delivered to Dubbo residents by horse-drawn cart.

Subsequently the Stevenson’s father, John Stevenson, also followed in Aussie’s footsteps and worked in his father’s business for a number of years, later owning his own business. Brothers Bill, Rob and John then all went on to become expert bakers and pastry chefs by trade and in 1990 the brothers purchased the popular Village Hot Bake in Dubbo.

With an initial staff of 15, the brothers have grown the business over two decades, transforming it into Village Bakery Cafe, purchasing a second retail outlet in Orange – Roberts Bakery - and expanding the wholesale manufacturing division by moving to a new factory facility with a new name – Earlyrise Baking Company.

The company now employs over 200 people across three sites – Village Bakery Café and Earlyrise Baking Company in Dubbo, and Roberts Bakery in Orange – with the wholesale division moving to the Mountbatten Drive site in 2006 to allow for the growth in production.

“We are very proud of our staff and the large range of quality products we make. Many of our recipes date back to those used by our grandfathers. Some of the old recipes are so good they are still used today - like our Hot Cross Buns,” said John remembering the influence his grandfathers had on the business.

“We make Traditional, Chocolate and Plain Hot Cross Buns every Easter using the same techniques as Aussie Stevenson did in the 1920’s. The secret to making the best Hot Cross Buns is to use high quality, fresh, local ingredients like fruit, honey and spices.”

Earlyrise Baking Company produces and distributes thousands of loaves of bread, pies, sausage rolls and cakes every week. When the pastry cooks are in “lamington mode” they will make and dip 4700 or more lamingtons in one shift – all by hand!

 Earlyrise Baking Co. has proudly been awarded Employer of Choice at Dubbo’s annual Rhino Awards Night in 2013. 

Earlyrise Baking Company Factory Staff

In order to bake and distribute our products each week Earlyrise Baking Company employs 80 people to work in the factory including: 

After-school juniors
 Qualified and skilled tradesmen
 Trainees - administration and distribution
 General labourers
 Gap year students
 Administration staff
Total 80

Employee Testimonials

 “Earlyrise has a massive wealth of knowledge that is being openly shared among tradesmen and apprentices. It is also great to be a part of a constantly growing business within my local community”
Aaron Locke – Section Supervisor (Cakes)
“Being a part of a diverse team driving state-of the art trucks and interacting with our customers is the highlight of my job”
Julian Schyveschuurder – Driver (Distribution) 

Position Profiles

After school juniors – The role of the juniors includes preparation of equipment for the production staff to enable them to concentrate on the more specialised tasks required each day. Their work is often similar to general labourers who work longer, more regular hours and are usually senior employees (gap years and older). During school holidays, juniors are often rostered to work full shifts in the production & packing departments to assist in times of higher demand such as Easter and during winter.

Tradesmen – These people have already done their apprenticeships and have many years of experience (290 years of baking experience combined). They are employed to manage the high-end daily tasks such as organising the production numbers for the day, training apprentices, controlling quality of products, problem solving baking issues and rostering of staff. Our senior tradesmen attend fortnightly training sessions to gain more knowledge about the “business” side of the business.

Apprentices and trainees - are learning from the tradesmen and working alongside them to ensure quality products are produced. They are learning the business from a “bottom up” approach while still being hands-on in their sections. They are able to work through the levels and take on roles such as department 2IC, Work Health and Safety Representatives, First Aiders, Social Committee members and trainers for younger, less experienced employees.

Packers & Drivers - Every product made in the bakery makes its way through to the Packing, Dispatch and Distribution departments. Packers are valuable end-user employees who are able to give feedback to the bakers on products that may not be of saleable quality. They are responsible for the efficient packaging of all products (except square bread) and often can pick up discrepancies in size or quality before the product hits the shelves. They are focused on timely packing of the products, take extreme care when handling the fresh food, and have intensive training to ensure they follow all food safety standards, the same as the people who bake the products.

Night packers - prepare the customer orders into crates (called picking) ready for the distribution staff to deliver to our valued customers – from Village Bakery Café to local businesses such as corner stores, schools, supermarkets and hospitals to towns as far away as Bourke, Brewarrina and Lightning Ridge and many small towns in between. The long distance delivery drivers specialise in night driving which is a job requiring expert skills, experience and specialised driver’s licences.

Sales – Our Sales staff travel to our existing customers with new products to trial and to new customers to entice them to buy our excellent products. They form trusted relationships with these customers and are often the person that the customers will contact first if they have any issues with their products or deliveries. Sales staff also attend Trade Shows in other areas (such as Sydney, Canberra, Tamworth and Brisbane) to get our name and products into other communities. Their aim is to grow our business through increased sales, and they give valued feedback on quality issues as well as success stories from satisfied customers.

Maintenance - We are lucky enough to have our own Maintenance Department. This ensures that any equipment faults or breakdowns are dealt with immediately, and ongoing maintenance is conducted regularly and professionally (called preventative maintenance). Outside professionals are used when needed for specialist repairs and maintenance involving electrical and gas, or for specialised or imported machinery.

Gap year students - These are older juniors (18 – 19 years) who have left school and are available to work on a full time basis for a defined period of 1 – 2 years and are keen to earn and learn as much as possible before going to university or other study. They will learn many valuable skills that will enable them to pick up work more easily to support themselves while studying. They are able to learn new things easily and are willing to be multi-skilled to allow them to work in a number of areas across the business. Ex-gap year students are often given holiday work when they are home from uni.

Storeman - This role supports the production departments by ensuring that all goods delivered are received in a way that aligns with food safety standards and regulations. Refrigerated and frozen goods have a regulated process for receivables that reaches the standards of food safety and of our business. Once received the goods are fork lifted to designated areas for storage. The storeman is also responsible for storing the goods in the correct order of “First In, First Out” (known as FIFO) to ensure products are used in accordance with their “use by” or “best before” dates.

Cleaner - One cleaner for a factory this size!! What a job they have in front of them every day. Our cleaner ensures that cleanliness throughout the factory aligns with best practice for food safety standards and HACCP accreditation (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points). They cleans all areas of the factory including the offices, bathrooms and staff room, operates the washing machine and dryer, cleans windows and anything else required.

Administration staff - are a support to the people who produce and deliver the products to keep us in business. Administration covers the people who work in the following areas:
  • Reception - to take the phone calls for the business, greet customers, take customer orders and enter them into the computer system so that the production team knows what to bake. They pay the accounts, do the photocopying, scanning and filing, data entry and many other odd jobs
  • The Human Resources Manager, who does everything to do with the staff from writing job ads, to interviewing, training the leadership group and settling disputes.
  • The Finance department makes sure everyone is paid every week and does the accounting function for the business. This team includes the Company Accountant (degree qualified), Bookkeeper and Accounts Payable.
  • The Projects Manager is part of the Finance & Administration Team and assists with payroll, IT issues and project work involving major reports on costings, updating the data systems 

The Directors - (Rob, John and Bill) all work in the factory specialising in different areas within the business.

Career Progression

Some of our qualified tradesmen commenced working in the business as after school juniors and then moved into full time roles and eventually into apprenticeships. 

One of our apprentices came to us to do work experience while in year 9 and was so impressive that he was offered after school hours, and subsequently moved into an apprenticeship.

Two of our tradesmen recently completed their apprenticeships, and during the final year of their 4-year term moved into the position of 2IC in their departments, being the major support to the supervisor and department. 

They were paid above the award wage for their apprenticeship level to compensate them for their extra responsibilities and offered extra, ongoing training, mentoring and coaching from senior people within the business.

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