Box Hill Central is a shopping centre and public transport narthex. A major railway line runs underneath, numerous buses congregate on the top like bees around a honey pot, and in between, a large number of shops (both majors and small specialties) cater to the daily commuters. I travel through here several times a week on the way to rehearsals, and am intimately familiar with its layout and all the various sights, sounds, and smells.
Today a new smell met me. A stand that was being set up on Tuesday, today is in business. "Puffy" make custard-filled cookies, and when finally I was able to sample one ($A1.60 each, discounts for bulk purchase), I was highly satisfied.
Three people work the stand, and at the time I came (6pm on Thurs), the queue was long. This was not due to inefficiency on the part of the staff - on the contrary, all three (and especially the lady filling the cookies and handling customers) impressed me with the speed and smoothness of their operations. There was a few minutes' delay at one point while there were no cookies cooled and ready, but apart from that, all moved swiftly and constantly.
At 6:10 I joined the queue, which would have had about 15-25 people in it. When I reached the head of the queue, it had neither lengthened nor shortened appreciably. Service was swift and professional, with skilful handling of equipment leading to a fairly constant throughput of cookies and rapid customer service.
THe cookie itself was no less than I had hoped for. Baked to perfection and not overdone, with a custard filling that would spill out onto your hand if you treat it carelessly, the cookie was worth the wait. Some people decided to abandon the queue rather than wait - one with some disparaging comments - but for those who spent the 5-10 minutes needed, the result was not disappointing.
One slight downside was the price list. Posted as only an A4 sheet of paper, it was not easy to locate until I actually stood in the queue. One lady actually asked me if the cookies were free, presumably because she hadn't seen a price anywhere. Apart from that, however, there was little or nothing to fault in operation or results.
Definitely worth a visit; possibly will do better outside of evening peak time.