VILI'S GOURMET PIES

Arriving in Australia, the family reunited in Adelaide after being separated during the immigration process. Vili attended the local public school in his area, St Joseph’s Primary where he struggled to master the English language, excelled at maths and loved playing soccer.

At 14 years of age, he was sent out to work, to bring money into the family. He completed his apprenticeship at a local continental bakery. Once qualified at 18 years, Vili commenced his own business, leasing equipment and employing his fiancée and mother part-time. It was a high quality continental cake bakery, with emphasis on high quality using premium ingredients. With $50 capital, and by selling his car for the first week’s stock, Vili’s dream of owning his business began. He started this business on the 6th Jan 1968 aged 19, just ten years to the day after arriving in Australia.

Later, at the request of his sister who sold his products, he decided to make pies, pasties and sausage rolls for her to sell in her snack bar, rather than have her purchase them from elsewhere. He re-fashioned the traditional Aussie pie and pasty to make it acceptable to people from all backgrounds. This was not immediately successful. It took some time to educate consumers away from the traditional 'aussie' products. Drawing on his background of continental pastry training he transformed the crust to a light flaky pastry. He uses only 100% Australian beef in his pies, and requests only choice cuts of meat.

It took until 1990 for Vili’s to expand from the original homemade bakery to the modern export facility we have today. However, some aspects will never change. Our products are still hand made, using the freshest ingredients, including vegetables grown especially for Vili’s. Although continental cakes and yeast products are still a key part of our business the pies have taken place as our premium-selling product through innovation of new flavours, drawn from Europe, Asia and our Aboriginal Bush Tucker.

“Daring to be different” has set us apart from the rest.

Vili trains his own staff and is a “hands-on” type of employer who works alongside his workers - It is not a business that can be run from an office. He encourages pride in the business and the employees are proud to be a part of a successful team.

Vili’s is known in the market place for being a sought-after product of high quality, a standard which Vili has always striven for, since commencing the business in 1968. Vili and his wife Rosemary are proud to have taken the business from strength to strength. Their son, Simon and daughter Alison are actively involved in the management, with Simon being in International Sales, and Alison as State Manager of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.