The Women Behind Otto’s Marketplace for International Women’s Day - Otto's Market Townsville
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The Women Behind Otto’s Marketplace for International Women’s Day

The Women Behind Otto’s Marketplace for International Women’s Day

 As we reflect on the progress we have made towards gender equity, we recognize and appreciate the women who are breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations. In this blog post, we highlight just some of the women behind Otto’s Marketplace, who are making a difference in their workplace. 

Here at Otto’s we are big on traditions, one tradition we are most proud of is the women leadership passing down their skills to the next generation. They obviously take exceptional pride in the food they produce but it’s the time they invest in their younger team members that really makes them standout. With the majority of our workforce under the age of 18, department managers have been very intentional in upskilling their younger employees and giving them the best start to their careers.  

Whether it’s Head Pastry Chef Chloe Kelly or the Otto’s Fish Market’s Manager Lucinda Savy, it’s no coincidence that these women are winning national awards and keeping their customers coming back year after year.  

For Chloe Kelly who started working in the Otto’s bakery 11 years ago at just 14 years of age, she knows all to well that having the right mentor can make all the difference. She started her apprenticeship under the mentorship of Swish import Edith Shawdlow who has been a pastry chef for over 30 years. Kelly went on to win Australian Apprentice of the Year (Australia wide) and now oversees Shawdlow, who now is the department’s 2IC.  

‘For me, Chloe winning Apprentice of the Year was a very proud moment. She was an awesome apprentice, and it was easy just to guide her through it. Now Chloe is the driving force behind the department, and I can just step back and be the auntie.’ Said Shawdlow.  

Fast forward a few years and now Kelly has her own apprentice Isabel Mackail (Bella). Who has just won 1st Year Apprentice of the Year (Australia wide).   

‘I started my apprenticeship with Otto’s at the end of year 11. Winning that award made me want to keep going and win overall Apprentice of the Year.’ Said Mackail.  

When asked what makes the team so successful and staff remaining in the department for many years, Otto’s Operations Manager Renae Summers, said. 

‘Otto’s gives us the flexibility to do what we want. If we have a good idea, they are happy to let us run with it. Don (owner) is happy to stand on the sidelines and congratulate us at the end.’  

‘Because we’re not a franchise we can launch exciting new products and make our mark on the Australian food scene,’ said Kelly.  

Next door in the Otto’s Fish Market, manager Lucinda (Lucy) Savy has been working alongside Effie Pilouris, retired Fish Market Owner for over 4 years.  

‘They taught me how to love the shop and treat it like my own. Effie and Kon owned the shop for over 40 years and still come in on a Friday night to see their old regulars.’ Said Savy. 

‘The customers that come in were kids when we opened the shop. Now they come in with their kids and their grandkids. So I get to see all the generations. It’s so nice. And these girls are like my daughters.’ Said Pilouris  

‘Effie likes to teach our staff the right way of doing things. She has an incredible work ethic, she doesn’t stop.’ Said Savy.  

This example does not go unnoticed by the younger staff members, in particular, Naiobi Lound, Savy’s daughter, who also works in the shop.  

‘I enjoy having women as leaders, they manage their time well and just get the job done.’ Said Lound. ‘Even though when I first started mum was a lot harder on me, I know have a better work ethic because of it.’said Lound.  

‘She was my best student’. Said Pilouris. 

‘My proudest moments have been seeing our junior staff start here as their first job in high school, with no experience and watching them grow and become more confident in themselves. Some of them at Uni now there still working here. I know they will go on do amazing things with their lives.’ said Savy.