There’s a man out West who loves pies so much, he makes 500,000 a month. That’s worth a small fortune, but Stefan Crooks doesn’t much care about that because he likes giving money away even more than he likes making it in the first place.
Stefan is a larger-than-life character, fizzing with energy, and almost bursting to share his boiling enthusiasm for doing business in order to do good in the community. He laughs a lot but also has the serious side of what he’s doing, in both areas.
As far as he’s concerned, life and business are about giving, in one way or another. And despite all that he’s already achieved in three short years since he launched Westie Pies, he’s excited about how much more that can be done with the community to make West Auckland an even better place.
“You invest in the community because it’s the right thing to do. But if you invest in the community, the community will invest in you.” Investing in the community also includes looking after his loyal staff.
While staff see their boss working in a spartan, no-frills office, and making is own tea, they also see his humanitarian side. Recently a boy choked on a piece of plastic while easing a Westie Pie. Stefan didn’t stop to ask questions, they could come later, he immediately put financial support behind the boy’s father who was unable to afford time off work. Stefan’s financial support meant that the father could be with his son as he came through the ordeal.
It later proved that the plastic wasn’t in the pie. The boy had swallowed the plastic and it lodged harmlessly until he then at the pie and couldn’t swallow past the plastic.
Stefan shrugs this off to suggest that it’s only what human beings do for each other: “I don’t care. he’s a father. I’m a father. I could help.”
He loves the West. “There’s a community heart that you don’t find in other places.” Then reflecting on the nature of New Zealanders, he adds; “There’s a bit of Westie in everybody.”
Read more about Stefan’s contribution to the community in the October issue of Our West.