Hilltop Cake Shop in Surrey Hills, Melbourne, is run by the Gabriel family: Sascha, Helen, Franz and Markus. The family-oriented Swiss bakery has been operating for 25 years and is renowned in the local area, but the last few years has seen them growing faster than ever, attracting new customers from all over Melbourne, and even interstate. The reason? Online reviews that rave about their incredible cakes and service are getting them more exposure and convincing more and more people to try them out.
Sascha says; “We don’t even have a website but more and more people are finding us online (via womo.com.au) and saying ‘we heard you’ve got great cakes’!”
All around them, businesses are closing down and in the strip of shops where Hilltop Cake Shop is located, there are 5 or so empty buildings – but Sacha says “we’re busier than ever! We’ve had 30-40% growth in turnover year-on-year for the last 3 years…. And at the moment, there’s more parking available for our customers!”
When reading their reviews on Word Of Mouth Online, the heart and soul of the business is evident and it’s easy to see how these reviews attract more customers… May T says “the best way I can think of describing the food is that it has a genuine wholesome homemade look and taste – but by a superb home chef !", and Hasan writes; "Helen always greets you as if you are an old friend, and makes you feel right at home. Everything is consistently delicious, fresh, well made and very good value. The éclairs, baked cheesecake, sausage rolls, quiches, fruit tarts are fantastic. The mini taster pack in particular with their mini fruit tarts and éclairs is sensational and a great way of sampling the products. A true delight.” It’s not hard to see how these reviews get people’s attention. Now exactly where are they again? Hopefully somewhere close by!
Sascha is not someone to rave about the business but simply says;
“We all just do our best, we're nice people and we don't like disappointing anyone. It’s a homely business and we try to talk to our customers. It’s just part of our nature.”
The statistics from WOMO show that Hilltop Cake Shop gets around 450 people reading their reviews, and 40 direct phone calls from their profile each month. With reviews giving customers a way to say what this family is too modest to say themselves, Sascha smiles and simply states that “word-of-mouth is definitely the best form of marketing”.
See their WOMO Listing here: http://www.womo.com.au/reviews/Hilltop-Cake-Shop-Surrey-Hills/
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