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Joseph and Pasquale Muscatello – owners of the Eiffel Tower Patisserie in Melbourne – speak exclusively to Rise Insightful Baking Magazine about building their business and their customer’s most favourable baked goods.
Mastering the art of perfecting baked goods every time is a true talent. It is a talent that is continuously practiced and takes months, sometimes even years to grasp. And after years of trialling and testing recipes, Joseph and Pasquale Muscatello have finally conquered their signature Italian dessert – the panettone. In our recent edition of Rise Insightful Baking Magazine, the Eiffel Tower Patisserie owners and bakers share their journey of how they built a reputable brand and product from nothing.
It has been part of the business since the birth of Eiffel Tower in 1977, when we first started with a traditional fruit-based Panettone and now we do chocolate chip, hazelnut crème and tiramisu. Sales wise, we sell about 50/50 chocolate chip vs traditional fruit. We make 10,000 Panettone over 10 weeks starting late October until Christmas day.
Panettone is far more popular because more people are becoming aware of new foods, cultures, customs and traditions. Our customers keep coming back for our Panettone because we have the right flavour, using good quality ingredients with no preservatives and we make them here in Tullamarine, Victoria. Australians love to buy locally produced products to support the local industry.
We like to maintain the tradition of Christmas and as an Australian/Italian bakery, we specialise in cannoli, Panettone, continental cakes, pastries and biscuits. We are one of very few semi industrial bakeries making Panettone locally and are very proud of that.
Ingredients, love, equipment and experience. We make batches of 300kg. Initially when we started we purchased a Panettone from Italy so we had a reference. We made a Panettone ourselves and kept asking our customers for feedback. We offered them both types of Panettone (local and imported) to try when they came in to buy other cakes.
With the feedback we received, we refined and adjusted our recipe until our customers said our Panettone was better. Now we stick to the same recipe and have done so for over 40 years. Consistency, freshness and the right flavour has ensured our customers keep coming back every year.
Our chocolate chip Panettone includes the Cacao Ivory Dark Chocolate Compound Chips from Goodman Fielder. We like the size of the chips because they are a bit smaller and they spread well throughout the entire Panettone providing mass and equal distribution. Obviously with Panettone baking for 65 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius, a high baking temperature is critical and this product delivers on that. Most importantly, the taste profile was exactly what we were looking for and our customers haven’t complained. The added bonus is that we sold out and that’s always a good sign!
Joe – As Pat’s son, I’m second generation of this family business. I grew up in the bakery helping my mum and dad with making custard and curling chocolate. Now I’m trying to take over and make it better by maintaining relevance to today’s customers. My signature and contribution to the business as the production manager is that I start everything off and leave the rest for the family to finish off and make it look beautiful.
Pat – I started by helping my brother at a cake shop that he worked at when I finished high school. My brother and I then decided to buy a cake shop together when we were 18 years old back in the mid 70s and we haven’t looked back. Today, we both have our own successful bakery businesses and create our own specialised range. Even now, I still love baking and I don’t mind the early starts.
I’m not really sure what I wanted to do when I was 6 years old but as I continued to grow in the business, I realised it’s all I wanted to do so I went on to become a pastry chef.
Joe – Biggest seller in individual serves are the cannoli. Continental cakes are second and then third are the mud cakes. Our customers absolutely love our cannoli, especially the vanilla custard. We even sell our cannoli shells to high end hotels and bakeries.
Pat – I started off wanting to set the business up wholesale but people around the area would smell the cakes and biscuits being baked and they kept knocking on the door asking us if they could buy something. I then decided to open up the retail part of the business and now the majority of our business comes from repeat customers or word of mouth.
Joe – Neither my dad or I have a mobile phone, we don’t want the distraction whilst we are in the bakery. However, my favourite tunes right now are all kinds of songs, new or old.
We’ll be busy preparing Colomba which we’ll make with Cacao Ivory Dark Chocolate Compound Chips. Colomba is a traditional Italian Easter cake shaped as a dove and we’ll also be making hand-made moulded and decorated Easter eggs.
Eiffel Tower is not only based on good quality ingredients, it’s all about the family tradition of coming together over food. We ensure everything we make tastes good and inject plenty of passion into the business. Our customers trust us because our food is used at their celebrations and that makes us happy to see them coming back. We even make our own ice cream and nougat and we continue to stay relevant to the industry with flavours and trends.