336 – Beechworth Bakery’s Tom O’Toole on making dough … the folding type, that is!

336 – Beechworth Bakery’s Tom O’Toole on making dough … the folding type, that is!

Where do I start?! Firstly, let me remind you of who Tom O’Toole is.

Tom is best known for creating the Beechworth Bakery – Australia’s most successful standalone retail bakery business; which employs over 255 staff, turns over in excess of $17 million and serves over a million customers per year.

I first had Tom on this show about five years ago on episode 91 where he shared his very personal story of growing up in extreme poverty, to becoming one of Australia’s great small business success stories.

His bakeries are scattered throughout regional Victoria, and as Tom openly admits, they’re not a whole lot different to most other bakeries. What is different is Tom’s approach to his people, and how they go about offering good old fashioned customer service. And that’s what Tom shares in this one hour keynote that he delivered at a conference I emceed last week. (BTW, thanks to DaveSheerman.com for getting me this audio).

Now, some things to note:

  • Tom’s presentation style is unorthodox. He’s high-energy, in fact he yells at times. He stutters as he drives a point home. And he doesn’t hold back with his language; so if there are kids within earshot, now might be a good time to get out the Playdough.
  • What you also need to know is that he’s referencing slides as he talks, so sometimes you might be wondering what he’s referring to. Added to that his clicker (which he calls a mouse) wasn’t working for him – but don’t worry, it will all make sense in the end.
  • I was actually in two minds as to whether to share this with you or not, as at times he bounces from pillar to post, going from one topic to another in break neck speed; but it somehow all comes together in the end. He has a rare ability to inspire change without audiences ever realising it until they walk out, totally energized and raring to go.
  • To see him in action, check out a 3 minute video highlights reel below
  • So, strap yourself in for a wild ride as Australia’s most famous baker as he lifts the lid on customer service, marketing, team culture and getting outside your comfort zone.
  • Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Tom O’Toole …

Hang on, that’s not all folk, I also share another low cost marketing idea for you to implement immediately in our new segment loving called What Have You Got To Lose?

And we revisit a past episode in which Australia’s #1 ranked residential real estate agent shared how he’s created an extraordinary business.

As per usual, there’s marketing G.O.L.D. dripping from the ceiling over at Small Business Big Marketing HQ … So let’s get stuck … right in.




00:00  Two marketing insights
00:42  Episode teaser
01:16  Welcome & overview
02:57  What Have You Got To Lose? – Idea #2
05:32  Today’s guest introduction – Tom Ot’Toole of Beechworth Bakery
08:38  Tom O’Toole of Beechworth Bakery – Part 1
36:30  Insights fr0m two businesses that want to help you grow
39:01  Tom O’Toole of Beechworth Bakery – Part 2
01:11:24  My Top 15 quotes from my chat with Tom Ot’Toole of Beechworth Bakery
01:13:45  Wrap-up and an insight in to both a past guest & next week’s guest





Tom O’Toole’s business – The Beechworth Bakery

My original interview with Tom O’Toole back in epsidoe 91

Tom O’Toole’s story

Another low (no) cost marketing idea in What Are You Got To Lose?





  1. “Study happiness.”
  2. “I’m still in business today and it’s far from perfect.”
  3. “It’s our people that make the difference.”
  4. “Rules 1 Take care of the customer. Rule 2 Take care of the customer. And rule 3 … Take care of the customer. Give them a reason to come back.”
  5. “My #1 customers are my staff. Happy staff, happy customers.”
  6. “The difference between extraordinary and ordinary is that little bit extra.”
  7. “The more I give, the more I get.”
  8. “You’re not doing a thousand pies, you’re doing one. Every one’s a customer.”
  9. “If you wouldn’t buy it, don’t sell it.”
  10. “Culture is caught, not taught.”
  11. “You can either wait for the future or get on the bus.”
  12. “When opportunity knocks, get up and answer the door.”
  13. “Be braggable. Push your brand all the time. No one else will.”
  14. “It’s the little things that make the big difference.”
  15. “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”




WebCentral – Exclusive listener offers
Get your online marketing sorted with these exclusive listener offers.

DesignCrowd – The world’s #1 custom design marketplace
Save $100 off your first design.



What was your biggest marketing learning or ah-ha moment from this episode?

Leave your comment below.

My guest and I respond to each and every comment.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Marketing Wake Up Calls

Only for the motivated business owner keen to build their beautiful business in to the empire it deserves to be.