Case Study: Sky Ranch Bakehouse
Skyranch Bakehouse owners Robin and Jimmy Ellenberger said their business arose in 2009 from a growing desire for a total career change coupled with the obsessive need to continue a 40-year passion of baking bread.
The Travellers Rest, near Launceston, bakehouse specialises in gluten-free products, and supplies to 36 retail outlets throughout Tasmania, plus has several customers interstate and overseas.
“Skyranch Bakehouse is here today following a challenge from health food shop staff to bake them a gluten-free loaf. This was a challenge which could not be ignored – instinct told me to grab it and run,” Robin said.
“When I baked my first loaf of wheat bread in 1970 it became an obsession which continues to this day.”
Skyranch Bakehouse claimed a national award for the Best Home Based Business Award in the 2013 Business Enterprise Centres Australia awards.
Their local Enterprise Centres Tasmania business advisor, Thom Lloyd of Business & Employment, was thrilled with the award, which highlighted the bakehouse’s success against tough national competition.
“I am honoured to have supported Skyranch Bakehouse through the Enterprise Centres Tasmania program, which is focussed on assisting small businesses at any stage in any location,” Thom said.
“The Enterprise Centres Tasmania network and Business & Employment are committed to assisting small businesses to start up, grow and meet their full potential.”
Robin said through the support of Business & Employment, they have had the opportunity to meet like-minded entrepreneurs, exchange ideas and offer support and encouragement to others who are in the early stages of their business venture,” Robin said.
“Growth has been slow and steady, which is how it was planned. No move is taken without looking in all directions plus the timing has to ‘feel’ right.”
Robin believes the success of the business is due to a number of factors, the most obvious being that at the time of establishment there was, and still is, no other exclusively gluten-free bakery operating in Tasmania.
“Specialist catering for individuals with further intolerances was a pathway unforeseen by us during research,” she said.
“To this end we try to provide as much support and thereby further tailor their products.