The inspirational and iconic 'Baker from Beechworth' who has built his bakery into one of Australia's greatest success stories.
The beginnings of Tom O'Toole’s rise to business triumph originated in a small bakery in a small, dying, and isolated country town with a population of 3,000 people. Gradually, under Tom’s guidance, the business grew from two employees to 70 full and part timers; from an annual turnover of $100,000 to well over $4 million. The Beechworth Bakery is now serving in excess of 900,000 customers per year. Tom’s work energized a small country town and instigated the rebirth of a community.
Under O'Toole's management, the Beechworth Bakery has become the highest earning single bakery retailer in Australia, and is the worthy winner of various national and state marketing and business awards. His business model is being emulated around the world. Tom has now opened successful bakeries in other parts of regional Victoria including Bendigo, Albury, Echuca and Healesville. His business enterprise is growing nationally with a new venture in Western Australia.
Tom O'Toole has not relied on formal education for his success. A self-confessed kindergarten drop-out, O’Toole was poorly educated as a child. Knowing first-hand about poverty and deprivation, Tom came from an impoverished background and has experienced the lowest of lows. But Tom has overcome all obstacles to become a beaming icon of an entire industry. Tom O’Toole is one of a kind, and all Australians who own a business owe it to themselves to get a dose of his insights.
“My bread is probably no better than the rest, but our service vision lifts us right out of the crowd.”
The O’Toole philosophies
The O’Toole philosophies are simple and effective:
Tom O'Toole preaches a consistent philosophy on quality of product and service. Ever-changing quotes appear around the working environments of the bakery and in the staff newsletter. He believes that if staff are to perform, they must be a part of this culture.
Customer service training
Customer service training for staff includes extensive ongoing education programs in tourism marketing, business planning, Aussie Host, and industry exchanges from Australia and overseas. Product knowledge is shared extensively in Australia and overseas through visits to other bakeries and visiting bakers.
Spreading the word on motivation and achievement
Tom’s passion for spreading the word on motivation and achievement has resulted in a natural ‘metamorphosis’ with speaking engagements throughout Australia and overseas.
His passionate, witty and natural way of presenting has created great interest. Tom O'Toole is now in constant demand as a speaker.
“It is clear from the attitudes of your staff and customers that your approach to quality service is very effective, and stands as an example of what can be achieved if the commitment is there...” - Quality Council
Under Tom O’Toole’s management and direction, the Beechworth Bakery has achieved job creation, annual income and cash flow that few retail bakeries outside our capital cities would hope to achieve. Tom’s business is often used as a case study in how his success has been a result of:
Passionate, charismatic, inspiring, motivating, funny, educating and engaging Tom O’Toole is a dynamic presenter who time again receives 10/10 in his client evaluations.
Your passion, energy and genuine enthusiasm for a focus on your people and your customers was inspiring and a fantastic start to our day. We had overwhelmingly positive feedback on your session and you were called out by many as being a highlight of the day.
Charmaine Hollis, BT Financial Group
True to usual form. Delegates were blown away
Gerard Allen, Fulcrum Suspensions
Your assistance in being an Ambassador for the Week and in participating in the event was some of the highlights that stakeholders mentioned to me in their feedback.
Hon Tony Robinson MP – Minister for Gaming
Tom O'Toole delivered a surprisingly energetic and totally motivating expose of his "view of life". Tom spoke from the heart, and in doing so generously allowed his audience to step up to the window of his soul. He is so totally captivated by the liberation of his life through goal setting, hard work, hard times, and the family experience, he could not help but put it all in perspective for our team, as we embarked on our mission of planning to move from "good 2 GREAT" !. Tom moves his audience with his theatre, passion and an almost undetectable generosity for those less fortunate than himself. You have to admire his truthful, candid and amusing, appreciated delivery.
Excellent. Tom was a wonderful ‘finishing’ speaker and provided our delegates with all of the key messages. He achieved this in a highly entertaining and excitable way, involving the audience along the way. Whilst Tom was extremely funny and uplifting, he never lost sight of the fact that he was presenting to retailers who wanted to know how to engage the customer
Excellent. Very enthusiastically received by our network of authorised dealers. Tom provided an inspirational, yet ‘real’ model for our team.
Excellent. Tom O’Toole was excellent and very entertaining and motivational.
Tom’s energy and enthusiasm was infectious. He spoke about experiences in a manner that our dealers could relate to. A first class start to our business conference.
L.D Wholesale Tyres
Excellent. Simple messages that we constantly need reminding of – portrayed with such vigour and enthusiasm – the audience loved it and laughed a lot.
Spencer Institute of TAF
In the wrap of the conference today the Federal President stated that in the 12 years of the conference Tom was the most inspiring motivational speaker to ever present at this conference.
Liquor Stores Association Conference
The Delegates obviously enjoyed your dynamic, inspirational, enthusiastic, vibrant presentation and the rating comments definitely reflect this. Your presentation rated the highest of all the sessions and was a great finish to Congress.
Tom’s presentation was very good and as opening speaker for our conference set the scene for a very interactive day.
Excellent. Tom’s – down to earth and very dynamic. A boy from the bush that all businesses can use his ideals.
One Steel Market Mills – Wire
Excellent. Very animated which kept the interest of the group. Positive feedback from all delegates.
Stihl Pty Ltd
Excellent. Practical heart felt real ideas that our franchises can take back and implement.
Tom was fabulous! The audience enjoyed his presentation and took home some clear messages.
Large Herds Australia Conference
Townsville Chamber of Commerce
Excellent. Tom fitted in perfectly with the theme of our conference 'Through the Customer's Eyes'. An enthusiastic and inspiring presentation that the audience really enjoyed.
Excellent. Tom’s presentation was inspirational and very easy to listen to. His was the perfect presentation for a group of small business people. Tom’s energy level is amazing!
Excellent. Very passionate presenter, sound business principles and entertaining style
Michael Hill Jewellers
Excellent. Tom’s presentation was brilliant. He made all the audience stop and think what they can do to make a difference in their pharmacy. Brilliant and very relevant message.
Excellent. Very motivational, hilarious and enjoyed by all.
Tom fitted in with the program very well; the message was very well presented.
South West Healthcare
Excellent. Tom presents with a passion, speaks from the heart and head, and was received as the most rewarding speaker we’ve had in 10 years.
Tom’s enthusiasm and passion is awe inspiring.
Many of our people have never experienced a ‘message’ speaker before and were absolutely blown away by your passion. I can assure you, you made a permanent mark in the minds of many attendees who continued to talk about Tom all through the conference.
Excellent. Riveting, funny, passionate and so easy to identify with. Extremely valuable content, in step with our business. Accolades from all.
Excellent. A great way to finish a conference. He sent all of our people away with renewed enthusiasm.
Regional Insurance Brokers Association
Excellent, A different act. His success story was based on positive thinking.
Rotary District of Dromana
Excellent. Tom’s enthusiasm and passion were well received by our group. His humour and message were an excellent conference starter and set the tone.
Destination Event Management
I just wanted to say congratulations on an awesome performance. It was great to have a speaker not related to real estate and you ended the conference on a high. I found you to be really inspiring and your positive attitude is still fresh in memory!
Hocking Stuart Estate Agents
“Excellent. Tom was the perfect speaker for this function, nobody else could have done the job as well.”
Bev Marks Bedding
“Excellent… have seen Tom in action before, read his book and listen to his CD .... Fantastic! The energy in the seminar was incredible not only from Tom, but the audience as well .Tom hits the nail on the head with his message.”
“Excellent. Tom was a real surprise package. He displayed great energy and enthusiasm and really added another dimension to our conference and conveyed an excellent message for our group. I would certainly recommend Tom to others.
“Excellent. Tom was clearly the crowd favourite, and very nearly received a standing ovation. The presentation was full of action and humour, interspersed with compelling messages and learnings.”
NGT Travel Conferences & Incentives
“Very impressed. The Operations area of the company contains middle management through to vineyard hands and packaging line workers. Tom was relevant to all.”
“Excellent. I had seen Tom in operation before. This is why I wanted him for our group. Tom did not disappoint - the straightforward direct approach is just what we needed.”
Werribee Chamber of Commerce
“Excellent. Tom was very well received by our audience. His presentation was dynamic, delivering a message with underlying principles that could be applied by anyone. The feedback was extremley positive.”
“Thought Tom was a great performer, definitely captured everyone's attention with some great messages.......it is truly amazing how successful he has made his business from following a simple recipe for success!”
“Excellent. Tom struck a chord in every one of the 300-odd audience, from leaders in the business community through to owner-operators and teenage employees. His story is inspiring, his delivery engaging and his message uplifting. I would definitely recommend him as a speaker both to large companies seeking to motivate their staff and to community groups looking to empower and unify local traders.”
“Excellent. Tom's discussion was very appropriate to the theme of the conference and his presentation and philosophies should be adopted and pushed through the Group. Tom received the highest score for his presentation from the Group 4.68 out of 5.”
“Excellent. Tom O'Toole was the perfect guest for our conference. He was entertaining, funny and friendly with a perfect message that was delivered in a Fantastic way. He stayed around and enjoyed dinner with us and personalised all his books for our Store Managers. He went above and beyond. Much appreciated Tom!”
“Excellent. Tom was the perfect closing speaker for our event. Everyone took home a different message.”
Department of Agriculture
“You were a total inspiration for the fellows as well as a most amusing guest speaker. Your message was clearly received by all and dovetailed in perfectly with our theme for the year – ‘Be Unique – Make a Difference’. You were the keynote for the conference and helped make the total content fall into place.”
Gallagher Australia Pty Ltd
“Excellent. I thought today's event was great. Very positive and inspiring. Tom's use of positive images and being blatantly honest with himself, his staff and customers is a great lesson for all of us. Very impressive man and career. fan - bl**dy-tastic! Great speaker - so much enthusiasm that it was sobering to go back to work (everyone is so quiet) I believe that it reminded us that there are certain fundamentals that exist for every successful business, whether large or small, regardless of the industry! What an inspiring character... So much enthusiasm and perspective.”
“Excellent. Tom blew 'em away with his enthusiasm, style and honesty. He really is quite a person!”
“Excellent. Truly unique in every aspect and his passion was appreciated by all.”
“Excellent. Tom's presentation is highly energetic, evocative, thought-provoking and absolutely inspirational. I enjoyed his presentation so much at a conference I attended last year, that I organised my staff on this occassion to experience Tom's message first hand.”
Speedy Corporation Pty Ltd
“Excellent. Dynamic and unique presentation, full of interest and delivered with such gusto it couldn't fail to capture everyone's interest. A fascinating look into the life of a person who came to a turning point in his life and had the guts to change and have a go. Inspiring and a reminder that we all have what it takes to make it, the only thing we need is the right attitude.”
The Granes Research Development Corporation (GRDC)
“Excellent. Tom's presentation was energetic and interesting. His straightforward approach to his business was refreshing to hear and easy to understand. Clients and partners alike all were able to take something away from Tom's presentation. The "Buzz" in the room at morning tea after his presentation as well as the number of requests I have had for his video is an very positive indication of how well he was received.”
Hagemeyer Electrical Group
“Excellent. Tom O’Toole was the ideal keynote speaker for our conference. He was enthusiastic, exciting and energetic and prepared all attendees to receive the “can do” messages throughout all the following sessions.”
NSW Taxi Association
“Excellent. Well received by the audience. Was extremely funny, entertaining and motivating.”
“Excellent. What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this man – genuine, passionate, inspiring – Tom leaves you with a smile on your face but questions in your head and heart”
Investor Financial Planning Pty Ltd
“Excellent. Tom had everyone on the edge of their seats one moment, and wiping tears the next, straight to the heart - we loved him!”
Quairading Chamber of Commerce
“Excellent. The response from participants was excellent with many implementing many of Tom's ideas and suggestions as early as that night when they went home.”
Ballina Fair Shopping Centre
“The response from retailers was excellent. They thoroughly enjoyed Tom's style of presentation.”
Clifford Gardens Shopping Centre
“Tom's presentation was energetic, humourous and he inspired our managers. For anybody in hospitality or the service industry I would highly recommend Tom as a guest speaker.”
Collins Foods Group
“Passionate, powerful, motivating, inspirational, entertaining, hilarious. Tom is a complete package. A sensational speaker.”
Luke Macquarie City Council
“As entertaining as everyone promised and yet provoked us into thinking about the issues at hand.”
Public Relations Co-Ordinator
“Very entertaining and full of enthusiasm. He held the audience's attention for the full time. Certainly gave us all lot of good ideas and lots to implement at home and at work. Have received very positive comments from all who attended”
“Oh My God! That was so unexpected and fantastic at the same time. The message was so clear without the mass of technical philosophies to support the message. What a fabulous speaker. I would recommend Tom to any business as his message is completely clear. If everyone had Tom's attitude we would all be multimillionaires with no stress.”
“Tom's inspiring and energising presentation made for a lively Awards night . Well received.”
Franchise Council of Australia - Vic. Division
“Tom’s enthusiasm and humour set the tone for our entire 3 day conference. He is by far the best Australian speaker we’ve heard for over 10 years! We can’t thank him enough for a job well done!”
“An amazingly entertaining and vibrant person who was well received by the Conference delegates.”
“Uniquely inspirational and entertaining, we could've listened to his stories all day long!”
Automotive Global Insurance
“Tom is an outstanding speaker and very unique in the way he delivers his presentation. The audience responded extremely well to his presentation.”
“Tom was probably the most passionate speaker I have seen for some time and our audience loved him.”
“Tom's presentation was highly energetic and delivered my staff with a positive and strong message. The enthusiasm, humor and sound business sense based practical experience was very good.”
“Tom's presentation was fantastic, just right for our Distributor Conference. Our distributors who are all small to medium businesses found Tom's talk very relative and I am sure they will be quoting from his presentation for many months. Our Asian Pacific Vice president was at the meeting and he was very impressed with Tom's presentation. Thank you for your support.”
“A legend - fantastic closing to our three days.”
Choice Home Loans
“Tom is obviously very passionate about his life and it shows. He has a very positive focus and really walks the talk. “
Echuca Special School
“Your presentation was extremely entertaining and an inspiration for those fortunate enough to be there; definitely a take home message for everyone ranging from beef and sheep producers to small business owners in town, to housewives. A great example being: a very good friend of mine, widowed last year at 28 with a 12 month old and a pregnancy not known about, attended the meat profit day (with the 4 month old in arms) and told me you are the one person she has listened to that has made her believe she can begin again. So definitely not only business minds were inspired! I believe Longreach is a better place for your visit ”
Meat & Livestock Australia - Longreach
“I personally found your presentation made at our Business Sessions extremely professional, informative and entertaining and from all accounts from the delegates who attended, they enjoyed it as much as I did.”
Liquor Marketing Group
“I was blown away by Tom's presentation style. He was very intimidating at first but WOW what an impact. I don't know how this guy gets through the day with all this energy.”
Young Entrepreneur Organisation
“Tom was full of energy and delivered a most appropriate message that was consistent with the theme of the night . From the feed back of the participants he delivered a message of hope and your future success is in your hands.”
Numurkah District Health Service
“Tom's enthusiastic, passionate delivery was very well received by the attendees (whose ages ranged from 18 years to mid 60s). The feedback was most positve and Tom's message obviously struck a chord with each individual. A wonderful experience for all!”
“Tom was energetic and enthusiastic. He was very well received by the audience and received great feedback via our own feedback forms.”
“Tom is an enthralling speaker. Inspirational, full of energy and enthusiasm for his topic and people. He was a big hit with our delegates.”
Kimberley – Clarke Pty Ltd
“OUTSTANDING: Better than excellent. Tom really hit the mark, he had a very stong message and was able to connect with our clients. His style captured everyones attention from the beginning!”
“Tom has a unique ability to be able to connect with a wide audience, particularly those who didn't even know they were in the business of customer service. Many who attended were able to identify with Tom's stories and apply his philosophies to their own lives and businesses.”
Far Western Regional Development Board
“Fantastic, got the conference off to a flying start, Tom is definitely out there and made people get out of their comfort zone. I think the message got through to all the attendees.”
Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Limited
“Restaurant and catering Australia were extremely fortunate to benefit from your experience as you spoke to us on Business Success and Service. Many members have congratulated the Association for bringing them a speaker who has truly built a small business from the ground up and has maintained their vision with enthusiasm for their establishment.”
Restaurant and Catering Australia
“Tom's almost manic delivery style certainly kept our audience enthralled. He makes you want to go out and do..do..do.”
Toronto Workers Club
"In the 12 years of the conference Tom was the most inspiring motivational speaker to ever present at the conference."
Federal President – Liquor Stores Association
“Tom was an exceptionally entertaining speaker that had the whole audience attention from the moment he walked on stage until the very end. His message is simple but highly effective and he delivered in a way that all of us can relate to. He is humble in his approach and honest in his admissions, which engaged the audience even more. He made us all re-evaluate our paradigms and challenged us to think big. The pleasing aspect of his talk, was that he was not some guru consultant that preaches from theory, but a real person who has had to endure several knockbacks before he finally reached his goals. Based on the positive feedback from the 130 delegates he was a huge hit.”
“Excellent. Having a connection with Augusta, Tom fitted in really well and was well received by all - we had guests travel from as far as Busselton and Nannup to hear his talk and all thought it well worth the trip. From the feedback I have received it may well be that Tom will be back in the region before too long to deliver more of his wonderful message.”
Flinders Bay Corporation
“Excellent - Thanks Tom. Tom was booked with Dingo to speak at our sales conference on Saturday 22 Oct 2005. And he was bloody fantastic – Speaking to our sales team from across Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK the message was the same and applied equally to ALL countries. From the success of the night Dingo decided to rebook Tom for our service conference on Saturday 19 Nov 2005. Dingo also invited leaders from a number of Dalby businesses to listen and they were left in awe. Tom said he may go for an hour, well an hour and a half later he was still going strong. And we loved it. He stepped off stage absolutely drenched in sweat and buggered he had given us his all. Having Tom speak at our conferences is an investment for Dingo’s future.”
“Excellent. Tom O’Toole was energetic and engaging. He was very passionate with a comical style and created great enthusiasm amongst our group with his business success story. He was very motivational and really got our group thinking about what they can do in their business.”
“Dynamic, entertaining, energy plus, funny, inspiring… You cant say ‘ So What” to Tom.. he is a ‘Wow.’ I had a room with 300 diverse business people. From one man operators to very large Blue Chip organisations.. The feedback has been exceptional about Tom…. Just such a great delivery and presentation. No boring pie charts and business buzz words here.. How refreshing!”
South Sydney Rabbitohs
“Tom’s success story, from being a poor child to a successful business man, is truly fantastic! It just shows what drive and determination can do. He is an amazing man, and Australian!”
Jetstar Travelworld Ltd.
"Excellent Tom's presentation was fantastic.The response from the delegates was overwhelmingly positive, it was certainly a great way to end the day's proceedings and sent everyone off on such a high note."
Social Club Books Pty Ltd
Dynamic, Captivating, Animated, Enthralling and Explosive; He captured exactly what we needed to communicate and shot it out like a loaded gun. I don’t think anyone blinked.
If you ever needed to get a point across, Tom O’Toole knows exactly how to do it. Even if you don’t speak a word of English.
“Excellent. Tom was engaging and represented exactly what we required for the night. His professionalism and story was moving for all involved.”
LIFELINE - Tasmania
“Tom is an excellent, if somewhat radical presenter. Very motivational and very entertaining. He is an inspiration to us all “
Shoalhaven City Council
“Tom was excellent. I had high expectations and he exceeded them in every way. He was very professional and went the extra mile to make sure we got the most possible value out of his presentation. I've never seen our clients be that engaged while listening to a speaker or laugh that much! Tom's presentation fit so well with the theme of the night and delivered the outcome we were looking for perfectly. We couldn't be more pleased and we'd love to have him back in the future.”
“Very Good. Tom O'Toole was energetic and as the final presenter day 1 of conference, Tom revved everyone up! “
Dept of Innovation Industry
Thank you so much for agreeing to speak at our Annual Franchising Conference in Melbourne recently.
You’re one “crazy bastard” but everyone loved you!!!
What an incredible way to end conference. You motivated them. Inspired them, shook them up and then sent them back to their businesses to ‘make a difference’.
We thank you for your passion and for the chance to experience a little of your journey with you.
“Tom hit a chord with everyone there. His energy, enthusiasm and frankness about life, people and business was uplifting.
Just an ounce of his passion is enough to fuel a rocket to the moon and back. Thank you Tom for sharing your world with Cartridge World.”
"His talk was inspiring, relevant, and extremely well received by all who attended. Tom's story is an example for us all".
Eltham Community Bank Project
Excellent, Tom was Fantastic. His journey passion and enthusiasm for life and business are truly inspirational. The whole group left on a high, ready to hit the group running.
Magnetite Australia Pty Ltd
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