John and Lena’s recipe for success is not pie in the sky

Slice of success: John and Lena Cimini of Cimini's Pasticceria Bakery and Cafe at Kogarah have won two silver and a bronze in the Official Great Aussie Pie Competition. Picture: John Veage
Slice of success: John and Lena Cimini of Cimini's Pasticceria Bakery and Cafe at Kogarah have won two silver and a bronze in the Official Great Aussie Pie Competition. Picture: John Veage

Kogarah business-owners John and Lena Cimini have a proven recipe for success.

The owners of Cimini’s Pasticceria Bakery and Cafe in Railway Parade, Kogarah have won two silver medals and a bronze this week in the The Official Great Aussie Meat Pie Competition at the Fine Food Australia exhibition in Melbourne.

They won silver for their chunky steak pie, silver for their mince meat pie range and bronze for their sausage rolls.

It’s a big achievement for a business that has been open less than 12 months.

But their success has a solid foundation and is based on traditional Italian recipes and decades of experience.

John’s parents, Nicola and Angela owned the Pasticceria Siciliana in Leichhardt for 30 years.

Nicola had brought his recipes from Italy and John grew up in the family business.

“The recipes are from Italy and we bake everything fresh on the premises,” Lena said. “We haven’t modernised or changed them and we don’t use additives.”

John and his two brothers owned the Sydney Wholesale Bakehouse in Marrickville for 20 years where they also won silver for their mince pies at the Fine Food Australia exhibition.

“I went into the family business and all the recipes were from my father,” John said. “I’ve continued to use them. I’ve tweaked them to get better quality but the base recipes are from my father.”

John and Lena say there are no secret ingredients to their award-winning pies.

“They are done with care, craftsmanship, premium products and 30 years of experience,” John said.

Lena added, “We keep it as true to home cooking as possible. We are also reasonably priced.”

They believe these are all the ingredients needed for success.

“People will drive for an hour to get a good pie,” Lena said.

It has been John’s dream to open up a business in southern Sydney, close to their home at Brighton.

John is now showing the next generation the family business.

Daughter, Bianca works in the business and son, Joshua, 15, also comes in to help.

“It was always my dream to open up a little shop with my wife that was close to home,” John said.

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