The Adelaide Show Podcast putting South Australian passion on centre stage

283 – The Balfours Story

283 The Balfours Story on The Adelaide Show Podcast with Steve Davis

In this week’s episode of The Adelaide Show, we will explore the story of Balfours, Australia’s oldest bakery with James Askham-Levy – Balfours Brand Manager, and Jan O’Connell, the historian who did all the research for the The Balfours Story

This week, the SA Drink Of The Week is from Adelaide Gin.

And in the Musical Pilgrimage, we have a track from the Jackie Walton.

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Running Sheet: The Balfours Story

00:00:00 Intro
00:02:02 SA Drink Of The Week

Adelaide Gin by Australian Distilling Co is the SA Drink Of The Week.

Do any Balfours products go with gin?

00:02:52 The Balfours Story

I have three vivid memories of growing up in Adelaide. One was catching the train into the city and keeping an eye out for the lion on the Fowlers Building. The second was catching a bus with my grandma outside the Tiki Cafe in Victoria Square and reading the proverbs on the backs of bus tickets. And the other was going to the Balfours Cafe and Shop in Rundle Mall and ordering my favourite, the apricot slice which was always a little sweet and a little tart. Interestingly, I have been running a patriotic South Aussie podcast for almost 6 years and I’ve never had a frog cake. So, to blend those memories and seek forgiveness, I have two people with me who can show me the Balfours version of history: Balfours Brand Manager, James Askham-Levy, and the Historian who researched The Balfours Story, Jan O’Connell.

We are recording this before the exclusive Winter Warmer tonight in which there is a tasting of what Balfours has in store for a new season. We’ll talk about that later but first, what are your first memories of Balfours?

Can we start with some history, Jan. How did Balfours start 165 years ago?

What was it known for at first?

When did people become aware it was becoming an icon? Just like Coke, there must be some point at which its legend overtakes itself

What were the interesting phases of Balfours story – there were some location moves, weren’t there?

I remember working at Godfreys Hardware on Port Road and grabbing a strawberry milk and a Balfours pasty in my younger days. But over the past 20 – 30 years, the market changed. We had interlopers from interstate and some other local brands develop so, James, can you take us behind the scenes of what it is like to market such a large juggernaut as Balfours when there are always changes afoot.

What sorts of discussions take place about food and diet trends?

Let’s deal with the F Word – Frog Cake. Why haven’t I have one. Why should I?

 What are you doing that’s new?


00:26:30 Musical Pilgrimage
In the musical pilgrimage, we have a track called Our Beautiful State by Jackie Walton.
Our Beautiful State (Did I mention the wine). was written about 18 months ago and it seems to have gotten stuck in peoples heads and she is well known in the folk community for the phrase ‘Did I mention the wine?’. There’s also a funny video – here’s the link.

Here’s this week’s preview video:

Video will be published Thursday

SFX: Throughout the podcast we use free sfx from for the harp, the visa stamp, the silent movie music, the stylus, the radio signal sfx, the wine pouring and cork pulling sfx, and the swooshes around Siri.

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