THE SUGO TU STORY, SO FAR...
Sugo tu founder Robert van den Bergh, has a passion for pizza. As a baker by trade, pastry chef and brewer, Rob has combined centuries of family baking experience with the highest quality ingredients (and an entrepreneurial spark)
to create truly authentic products.
Australian-born Robert van den Bergh comes from a family of Dutch bakers that date back to 1792. His father Rudi, emigrated from Holland and set up bakeries in Queensland and New South Wales. In 1975, Rob joined the family business and went on to build van den Bergh's Continental Bakeries with his father and brother Leo. The company grew into a great success and caught the eye of an international food company Unilever, whom the business was eventually sold to in 1994.
Following the sale of van den Bergh’s Continental Bakeries, Rob wanted to explore his own passions, which included wanting to create a truly authentic pizza that every Italian would want to call their own. In the pursuit of perfection, he travelled to Italy to learn the secrets of real Italian bakers. On his return to Australia, Rob developed the perfect dough which would produce pizzas with a light thin base and a soft fluffy crust. Rob not only created his own perfect dough, but also developed a method to freeze the dough retaining the traditional qualities that give the dough its incredible taste and texture. The result is a multi-dimensional taste experience representing an authentic Italian-style.
Rob’s next mission was to create a delicious sugo pizza sauce made from sweet ripe Italian tomatoes producing an intense sun ripened flavour, and adding fresh garlic and basil creates an authentic homemade taste and, as Rob always says, "the best pizza starts with the best dough and sauce."
Rob would enjoy weekly pizza nights with his family who convinced him to open a pizza restaurant, knowing that it would be an incredible success. In 2007, he opened his restaurant Sugo mi in Bulimba, which went on to win multiple awards for Best Pizza Australia and Best Gelato.
In 2008, Sugo tu was established and began operations at the back of Sugo mi. With a team of family members, a crazy
entrepreneurial drive, one large dough mixer and a few chest freezers, Sugo tu quickly outgrew the space and required a premises of its own. In 2010, Sugo tu moved into a factory facility in Bowen Hills. At this time Rob's daughter, Monique joined the business and has been with the company ever since, helping it grow from the ground up.
Rob’s wife Nikki is an integral part of managing Sugo tu and also provides support and guidance to Rob's entrepreneurial flare! In 2015, the very same factory that van den Bergh's Continental Bakeries started in became available, and Rob and Nikki decided to make the very nostalgic move back to the factory in Mansfield, Brisbane where thousands of dough balls are made every hour.
Sugo tu has an amazing team of dedicated people who work hard and proudly to help make Rob’s entrepreneurial visions become a reality. Most of Rob and Nikki’s children have worked at Sugo tu over time, and Nikki’s son Pat having worked up through the business now manages the warehouse.
In the past few years, alongside Sugo tu’s food service sales, the retail sales of the business have grown exponentially with over 700 retailers selling Sugo tu dough and sauce, including independent retailers, IGA, Costco and Woolworths.
The Sugo tu team is incredibly excited about what the future holds. Plans are underway (Rob’s entrepreneurial visions!) to extend the product range with gelato, pasta and beer.
Allowing customers to experience restaurant quality pizza in the comfort of their own home fuels Rob's passion to deliver the highest quality pizza products in Australia and beyond!
Rob & The Team