How did the business come about?
Paula: Mark – who is a chef – built the Rapid Red Gum trailer with a little help from me. We started in January last year and finished in May this year, then we went looking for sites to set up – that was the hard part. I’m the office manager. I’ve previously been a front office manager of hotels in New Zealand, a PA at a rehabilitation company and things like that over here. My last job was as a logistics co-ordinator for a podiatry company. Mark and I also run another business called Pizza Party Hire – we both worked full-time jobs for the first few years we ran that.
Mark: That was where I came up with the idea of, “Why don’t we do a drive-through pizza place?” The concept started in America, but they usually only do it with a trailer at existing restaurants.
Paula: Now we’re here (in Werribee), we pretty much do classic pizza and a small selection of gourmet pizzas. We also do a healthy pizza wrap during the day. We haven’t been able to find anyone else in Australia who does drive-through pizza.
Mark: We are fresh-to-order. For customers, it’s only five minutes from their order to pick-up. We have a high-tech, genuine, woodfired oven which allows us to do this.
Did you want to set up Rapid Red Gum somewhere in Wyndham?
Paula: We wanted to be close to home, because we live in Point Cook, and we wanted an area with good access.
Mark: We also wanted somewhere close to a residential area.
It’s a topic that inspires a lot of debate – pineapple on pizza.
Mark: We don’t mind too much – if customers want pineapple, they can have pineapple. Tomato is also a fruit and it goes on pizza.
What do you like about Point Cook?
Paula: In 2007, when we arrived here, I loved the newness of it. It’s modern, it’s new, it’s open.
Mark: There is good access to the freeways.
Paula: Everything we need is here in Point Cook.