"Paris End" Pakington Street Newtown, Geelong

Back in the late 1980’s when the Pakington Street shopping strip in Newtown was undergoing development, the first group of shops under the iconic Pakington Street clock tower were struggling to attract any tenants. We were entering a recession that affected the local market for ten years.

However, there was a terrific character by the name of Jeff Benham who set up and ran a pastry shop called “Paritz Café, Patisserie and Bakery” in the complex. His wife Sue was front of shop and Jeff was out the back doing his thing. As most of the shops were empty, Jeff was one of the few people I could call into and have a chat with. We are both surfers so we enjoyed exchanging stories along with swell and tide information.

Through the recession people didn’t have a lot of extra money but still managed to treat themselves to the luxury of Jeff’s cakes and pastries. I myself was the official daily sausage roll taste tester! During this time Billy Brownless retired and I remember seeing him as a regular customer of Jeff’s shop.

Jeff and Sue had a very successful business during the recession and were well known for their French styled wedding cakes (which Jeff made for my wedding!). This is how the nick name of the “Paris End of Pako” came to be. Paritz’s are directly responsible for this term.

G’day Jeff if you’re out there, keep rockin’.