02/10/2007 - 22:00

Miss Maud takes style seriously

02/10/2007 - 22:00

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Closed for two months to undergo a massive facelift, Miss Maud’s Carillon City Arcade pastry house still has a familiar feel. The refrigerated cabinet displays the same range of cakes and sweets, there’s plenty of timber and Swedish decorations, and the w

Miss Maud takes style seriously

Closed for two months to undergo a massive facelift, Miss Maud’s Carillon City Arcade pastry house still has a familiar feel. The refrigerated cabinet displays the same range of cakes and sweets, there’s plenty of timber and Swedish decorations, and the waitresses still wear the traditional Swedish uniforms – maroon aprons with matching skirts and little hats.

But it’s on closer inspection that the big changes to the store becomes apparent.

The cake cabinet is longer and there is a takeaway coffee counter tucked at the end.

The cafe itself has been opened up to the arcade, with retractable windows creating a more open environment while retaining the cosiness that Miss Maud Hospitality Group founder and chief executive officer, Maud Edmiston, has spent more than three decades building.

Creating a subtle change was at the heart of the refurbishment, Ms Edmiston says.

Despite Ms Edmiston being somewhat of a trendsetter when she opened the pastry house in the Carillon City Arcade in 1971, she is not in the business of radical overhauls and slavishly following the latest craze, be it juice bars or contemporary facades.

That’s because the business she established 36 years ago was based on a traditional Swedish pastry house; and that is what she still wants it to be today.

Ms Edmiston likens her business to a slow moving river that changes ever so slightly over time without any noticeable day-to-day variation.

“There is a lot of fluff and fashion and daily trends and I’m not that keen on participating in those trends,” Ms Edmiston told Gusto.

“We constantly look at what the customer wants and add new things, but we don’t want to create an earthquake and a shock for the customers.”

Miss Maud was established to some degree out of nostalgia. Ms Edmiston says she missed the pasty houses from her home town of Stockholm and so established her own in her new home of Perth.

To this day she has continued to keep the business focused on a traditional pasty house.

It’s grown from just one Carillon City outlet to 14 plus two sister businesses – Karrinyup’s Stockholm Café and Cuckoo Chef, which has outlets in Cannington and Morley.

Her treats are also starting to find their way onto the supermarket shelves, with Ms Edmiston recently reaching a wholesaling arrangement with IGA Supermarkets, which have been selling her coffee for six months and will begin stocking biscuits and pies in the coming weeks.

Ms Edmiston is keen to continue growing the Miss Maud business, with a further two pastry houses planned for shopping centres in Joondalup and Cockburn.

Miss Maud’s Carillon venue, while maintaining its traditional look and feel, has included some new features.

There is the coffee-to-go counter and a toasting oven to toast its wraps, which join the cafe’s range of sandwiches, foccacias and panins that can be ordered to take away.

As part of the business’s ongoing development, Ms Edmiston encourages her 500 employees to take part in the “strawberry program”, an internal system whereby they write down problems they notice in the business and suggest possible solutions.

A strawberry book is located at each store and staff members can write down problems, no matter how big or small.

If the change can be done at store level, the store manager can implement it; otherwise they go to head office for assessment.

Ms Emdiston reads all the suggestions and whether or not they have been implemented.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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