I Love Pies
The world needs better pies! So say Maree Glading and Jessie Stanley - and they have turned their conviction into a business that bakes and distributes gourmet pies of the highest standard in taste and quality.
They brand their products I Love Pies - and that says it all really!
"We're foodies. We love cooking for friends and trying out new recipes, and we've both always worked for food companies," says Maree, a marketer by profession with FMCG experience. She and Jessie, a food technologist also formerly with a large FMCG company, were convinced New Zealand had unmet demand for pies that are made with tender meats, other wholesome ingredients and fresh, flaky pastry ... and a little flair.
"Pies are something of an icon in our national diet. They're warm and comforting, and perfect on-the-go food," says Maree. She and Jessie formed I Love Pies Limited earlier in 2008. At this stage, it has a range of four traditional pies, each given an imaginative new twist: AngusPure beef steak and caramelised red onion; AngusPure mince and mozzarella cheese; smoked fish and creamy béchamel sauce; and manuka-smoked bacon and egg with tomato relish.
I Love Pies definitely have an edge on some of their more mass-produced competition - pies that, in the words of Maree and Jessie, tend to be full of "gristle and gloop". They have found plenty of the same discernment among Kiwis hungry for a wholesome, home-baked pie even if the price is a little higher. (The I Love company has a recommended retail price of $6.50 for its standard pie and $19.99 on the family-sized variation).
"People are definitely passionate about pies. We get that in emails all the time," says Maree. "In fact, I haven't seen such passion about a type of food except maybe for chocolate ... and chocolate would come second. People crave pies but when they eat them, they are often a bit disappointed."
It seems the world does want better pies! At this stage, I Love Pies are supplied to 24 delicatessens and gourmet food outs in the Auckland region, and the company is also offering a "Pie in the Post" delivery service in response to online orders. The preparation and baking is done in a professional kitchen leased for one or more days a week. The products are chilled and individually packaged - and of course, labelled with GS1 bar coding - ready for distribution in the weekly cycle.
It is early days for I Love Pies and Maree says more innovation and development will follow on the range of pies and their marketing.