There is an update to this story that has been added on 6 March 2023. See end of article.

With the Sydney Royal Easter Show starting in two months, I have been informed that some businesses have been told they are not wanted at this year’s show.

The businesses I am aware of who have not been invited back this year are Berliner Bakery, Thicc Cookies and Brooklyn Boy Bagels. Also, Sticky Bakes and Saj House have not been asked back. In fact, the RAS simply didn’t contact them to let them know of their decision.

The reason they have been given is that the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) who manages the Show is taking a different approach as to the type of businesses it wants in the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome. It wants more businesses that produce their own packaged goods, such as jarred pickles and chutneys, rather than items that are ready-to-eat.

The owners of the businesses believe they are being treated unfairly. They think the Show organisers should put more thought into the decision rather than just put up a heavy-handed stop sign. They believe there is room for the businesses they want to introduce as well as theirs.

The RAS hasn’t offered to move them to a different position. They have just said, “No thanks.”

Bear in mind that when COVID hit, many business pulled out of the show, and it was businesses like Berliner, Thicc and Brooklyn Boy Bagels that stepped up and took the chance.

Also bear in mind that in the past, the RAS has asked these businesses for freebies. For example, Berliner was asked to provide 200 free doughnuts for RAS staff, which they did.

Other businesses, such as Donut Papi, only lasted one year before pulling out. Meanwhile, Berliner, Thicc and Brooklyn stuck it out, through low and restricted crowd numbers, COVID restrictions and inferior stall positions in the Dome. They feel that the RAS thinks that because COVID restrictions are over, they aren’t needed anymore.

This is deplorable treatment of small businesses by the RAS.

These are businesses that have a solid business model and operate successfully throughout the year at markets.

Most of them do markets east of Homebush. Considering that the majority of the Easter Show attendess are from Sydney’s western suburbs, they are not regularly exposed to these established businesses. So they are still novelty food offerings to most Easter Show attendees and have proven to be very popular.

There will still be other businesses offering similar food, but of inferior quality – businesses that only pop up at the Easter Show. For example, there are plenty of places to get a doughnut at the Easter Show, but none of them compare with the quality of Berliner.

I have also asked the owners of Natas Portuguese Tarts whether they are wanted back this year or not, but I have not been given an answer yet. They too have been located in the Dome in recent years at the Easter Show.

I am also aware that some businesses have been very disappointed in sales during the COVID affected years and were planning not to do a stall at this year’s Easter Show.

Berliner, Thicc and Brooklyn are not giving up without a fight. While this is the first mention of it publically, you can expect it to be talked about as the Show gets closer.

Please share this story and support these quality small businesses.

UPDATE 6 March 2023

  • I have been told that Natas and Co, who make wonderful Portuguese tarts, also will not be at the Easter Show in 2023. They are taking it very philosophically and are not concerned.
  • I have been told that Berliner Bakery, Thicc Cookies and Brooklyn Boy Bagels have now been offered space at the Easter Show following some intense lobbying.