Social media stars: co-owner of The Elmore Bakery, Travis Wilson, and staff member Rachael Fabbri, were stunned when they found out over 20 million people had seen their latest Facebook competition post. Photo: BRENDAN MCCARTHY

Pie power drives Facebook fame

July 22, 2021 BY
AN Elmore-based bake shop has hit the world stage after going global on Facebook last week.

The Elmore Bakery was flooded with over one million comments on their latest competition post, challenging people to correctly guess from a photo the number of pies on a trolley to win a baker’s dozen for free.

Shop co-owner, baker and social media extraordinaire Travis Wilson, made the post last Wednesday and said he couldn’t believe the number of people commenting on it.

“That night when we posted I was so excited,” he said. “We got up to about 700,000 [comments] and I was around at my folks’ place, and I was just saying ‘we’re going to hit the million tonight’.

“I had to work at midnight that night and I stayed up most of the time just so we could hit that million.

“I got half an hour’s sleep. I was too excited to sleep because it was just going up so fast.”

Almost 21 million people have seen the post, which now has 1.3 million comments, 72,000 likes and 7,300 shares. Mr Wilson said the numbers are still growing rapidly, even after announcing a winner.

“I think it could be 30 million, 40 million views the way things are going, it’s just increasing so much,” he said.

Following a fifth statewide lockdown to contain COVID-19 outbreaks, Mr Wilson said he hoped commenters would make the trip from far and wide to sample the pies featured in the post.

“They were actually really excited to try our pies where we’re located, and we might have some people travelling around Victoria for that reason,” he said.

“I do believe we’ll bring a lot more people out of this one,” he said. “Elmore is not a huge area and I think we’ll bring a few more people to try our pies.”

While no stranger to making a viral competition post on the bakery’s Facebook page, Mr Wilson said he’d never had one do this well.

“It hasn’t gone as crazy as that,” he said. “We get up to 50,000 people but not 21 million people.”

He chalked this one up to social media training and a little bit of luck.

“That’s what it is, social media, and you can hit gold sometimes,” he said.

“I’ve always tried to push Facebook to get those followers and it is a bit of luck this time around, definitely, but I have had training through different social media agencies which really helped on working on how to maximise exposure.”

Mr Wilson said spirits were high at both of The Elmore Bakery’s locations since the social media success, with a smaller shop in East Bendigo.

Rachael Fabbri has been working on-and-off at the shop’s Elmore location since she was 15, but described the week following the post as a “whirlwind”.

She featured in the competition photo and has now become the accidental face of The Elmore Bakery.

“I grew up in Elmore so a lot of people do know me and they’ve commented on this viral post,” she said.

Mr Wilson said the bakery are looking to expand their operation to meet growing demand.

“We’re looking at a third location and we’ve just got that demand for it now,” he said. “People are hungry for amazing pies, that’s what we pride ourselves on.”

“We sell 40 trays of pies a day between the two locations and that is bumping up even higher.

“We are planning to do renovations this year to extend the bakery in Elmore just for more baking space so we’re able to cope with a bigger demand.”