Before the introduction of this $100,000 machine three years ago, HACCP officer Brendan Cole would cut the gingerbread dough by hand. The machine is cutting the walls to the Aussie Beach Shack.
Before the introduction of this $100,000 machine three years ago, HACCP officer Brendan Cole would cut the gingerbread dough by hand. The machine is cutting the walls to the Aussie Beach Shack. Boni Holmes

Aussie beach shack spices up gingerbread house tradition

ROBERT Christen didn't set out to reinvent the wheel but he did spice up a traditional Christmas idea with an Aussie twist.

The Christen's Gingerbread operations manager has created an edible build-your-own Aussie beach house, made entirely of gingerbread.

He wanted to create something different from a traditional gingerbread house.

"I didn't need to reinvent the wheel, just play around with the edges a bit," Robert said.

"Everyday something is different with a new product."

The Maryborough business makes gingerbread men, Christmas trees, smiley faces, shortbread and its newest invention, the Christen's Gingerbread Aussie Beach Shack.

Managing director Ruedi Christen said he sourced all ingredients locally for his Swiss recipe.

"The honey we use is not even 10 minutes drive from here," Ruedi said.

"Everything we can, we source locally."

The 25-year-old business maintains the highest food standards, with six employees who prepare, cook, package and distribute 99% of their product nationwide.

"We sell to stores and cafes across the Fraser Coast and throughout Australia," Ruedi said.

"We have already started producing our gingerbread Christmas trees and most are sold even before we make them."

The business supplies tens of thousands of special gingerbread men to Queensland schools.

"We have created a high-fibre, low in sugar and no smartie gingerbread man to meet with the school's strict nutritional criteria," Robert said.

"It took us nearly a year to source the different ingredients and get it just right. We are now supplying over 20 school tuckshops in the Fraser Coast."

Father and son duo, Robert and Ruedi Christen at their workplace in Adelaide St.
Father and son duo, Robert and Ruedi Christen at their workplace in Adelaide St. Boni Holmes


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