They've gone together like sauce and a pie for the best part of four decades but Tom O'Toole is no longer the face of Beechworth Bakery.
Mr O'Toole, who turns 70 in January, officially announced his retirement, as long-time business partner Marty Matassoni steps into the limelight with a 50 per cent share of the company.
The bakery logo and Mr O'Toole's grinning moustachioed face have both become famous far beyond Beechworth but the man from humble beginnings in Tocumwal.
Mr O'Toole is a successful public speaker and long-time champion for Ballarat's Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute with his wild, cross-country adventures in a 1930 A Model Ford.
But he knows this particular chapter has come to an end.
"I've got old and grey so it's time to let go," Mr O'Toole said. "It's a young person's business. I've been there, done that and I'm on the downhill slide now.
"It takes a lot of guts to retire when it's been your business. You live and breathe it, you talk it and it can be hard to let go but I feel more than happy to let go.
"Marty's been running the place for years and it's only going to get stronger.
"Being in business needs a lot of energy and you need to think big. We employ about 280 people so there's a lot of different personalities, the managers, supervisors, it's a whole different world.
"Today, it's a much bigger business, not a Mum and Pop show. But it's still a family business. I have four kids, they all worked in the business, we have a grandson working in the business now and Marty's two kids are both very involved in the business.
"That's wonderful to see."
Mr Matassoni, 44, has worked with Mr O'Toole for 30 years and bought into the business 20 years ago. He's been the Beechworth Bakery managing director for 15 years and is determined to uphold the company's standards and reputation.
"It's been successful because we've both had very clear roles," Mr Matassoni said. "Tom's been very successful and sought-after on the talking circuit, he's promoted Beechworth and it keeps us very honest about who we are and what we do when you've got someone like Tom talking about what we should be doing.
"We've had to hold that up as best we can and it's really hard when people are trying to pick the pieces out of what we do. People have their own opinions and perceptions about what's really going on here. It's a big business and we operate it like a big business.
"They think we buy our product in from China or Melbourne but we make it all ourselves. We employ local people, they're all people from within our community and a lot of people have been with us for a long time."
Having bought what was the Ideal Cafe, Mr O'Toole changed the name to Beechworth Bakery but sold it less than four years later and moved to Western Australia.
He baked in Port Hedland and then Augusta but quickly realised he couldn't work under anyone else.
"I'm too cranky," Mr O'Toole said. "I was brought up in the old system. I'd be telling people to hurry up and calling them names but I can't do that now.
"I used to classify myself as a real seagull manager. I'd crap on everyone, make lots of noise and then I'd leave and they'd be destroyed. I was always in a hurry."
When Mr O'Toole returned from WA, he bought the bakery back for $110,000 and set about rebuilding and refurbishing a building which was falling down, infested with rats and mice.
He started advertising on regional television.
"We invited people to Beechworth," Mr O'Toole said. "People thought we were crazy because Beechworth had a real stigma to it.
"You can have all the beautiful buildings but if you couldn't feed people, they'll just come and look and be gone again.
"The Beechworth Bakery turned this town around. I knew that if we got them to Beechworth, we had a chance of getting a dollar out of their pocket.
"I've got trophies from the baking industry because we lifted the baking game out of the dark ages. They were dingy and sold out by 1pm, selling stale food. We had bakers come from everywhere and we'd help them.
"The stronger every bakery is, the better everyone's business is because when you go to a good bakery in Albury, you want to go to a bakery when you come to Beechworth, Nathalia or Chiltern."
The competition is welcomed by Mr Matassoni.
"What the Beechworth Bakery has done is increase the quality of regional bakeries," he said. "They're so much better now.
"Everyone's always trying to do better than us, and a lot of them do.
"It's not just bakeries either; there's lots of pie shops and everyone's doing coffee these days. I think there are 35 coffee machines in Beechworth alone, whereas once, we had the only one.
"We've got to keep getting better and we've got to keep telling the message of who we are and what we do."
With stores in Albury, Ballarat, Bendigo, Bright, Echuca, Healesville and Yackandandah, Beechworth Bakery has become a small empire while Mr O'Toole's charisma and business nous has seen him transcend lamingtons and sourdough loaves.
"We've got no big egos, we just want to run a successful business, keep people employed and be part of the community," Mr Matassoni said.
"For me, it's been quite easy. I've been in the background growing the business while Tom's been out there talking about it and bringing people to us. That's going to change. I'm not someone to be out there all the time but now I have to be.
"People have to know me and what I do and why the business is so successful.
"The business is successful because of what I've done over the last 15-20 years as well as what Tom's done. We've had a great partnership.
"But even though he says he's retiring, in my mind, nothing changes in terms of the way we do business."
Mr Matassoni certainly has the full backing of the man who first took him on as an apprentice.
"I saw this guy as a kid and I could see he was foreman material," Mr O'Toole said.
"He's a cranky bugger too but he's a far better businessman than me.
"I don't even know how to use a calculator but he's great with numbers.
"I've only just learnt my phone number this year.
"Marty is the future. I've had my time. Marty mightn't think it but it is going to be a big change. People see Tom O'Toole as the identity of the Beechworth Bakery.
"A lot of older people don't want to let go but I don't need to hold onto my identity.
"Marty's going to run this place and I believe the potential for the Beechworth Bakery is enormous. It's a great brand and it is going to be different because we're now letting people know that I'm retiring.
"A lot of people think I'm stuck out in the bakehouse, working, and a lot of people think I'm dead. They say 'that old baker's still going!' when they see me."
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Mr O'Toole has spoken candidly about his issues of the past including a marriage breakdown, dependence on alcohol and suicidal thoughts but he's now in a far better place alongside wife Christine and the twinkle in his eye remains.
He's never been one to back down from anything but admits COVID has been a challenge like none before.
"The world has changed forever," Mr O'Toole said. "It's never going to come back to what Tom O'Toole used to run.
"We used to have people jam-packed like sardines in the shop but social distancing, masks and QR codes are going to become part of our way of life. It's a different world today and I don't have the energy for that so I'm more than happy to retire and let Marty and (his wife) Jo take on the whole show.
"I won't have a management position, I'll keep out of the way, I've got plenty to keep myself busy. It's about change, nothing's forever and Marty's prepared to embrace the change. My brain's too slow and the world's moving too fast for me today with social media and everything.
"Marty loves the place so much he even had some of his wedding photos taken here as part of the reception.
"He's very passionate about the bakery and that's what you need. It's not easy being in business, it never has been and never will be, especially with COVID."
So has this self-confessed workaholic been able to take a step back and assess the indelible mark he leaves on Beechworth and the world of baking? Just about.
"We've touched a lot of people over the years," Mr O'Toole said. "Often, we were the only people they got a chance to talk to.
"We often look at our lives today and we're just blown away. Beechworth has given us a wonderful life; it accepts the mad and the bad.
"I'm very dyslexic but I felt accepted here. It's been a wonderful journey, a hell of a ride and you can't let the personalities get at you. Some people love to be negative, which requires no effort, but we don't rent our headspace out to the negativity."