Handmade pies produced in Yorkshire moving to a new home to support expansion plans

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The Ripon based pie makers, who have grown significantly since opening in 2020, are relocating to a new purpose-built bakery in Leeming Bar to keep up with the demand for their award-winning pies. To help with the move, they have launched a crowdfunding campaign that rewards investors with huge discounts on orders, along with entry into the main prize draw to win a £5,000 holiday voucher.

Since its inception in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, Yorkshire Handmade Pies has been on a mission to bring the nation Pies Made Properly. Over the past four years, the company has grown at a rapid rate, receiving over 10,000 5-star reviews and numerous Great Taste Awards from the Guild of Fine Foods; the highest accolades possible for a food producer. In fact, they’ve grown so fast that their current bakery is too small to keep up with the demand for their pies.

Opening the doors during lockdown, founder James Sturdy came up with a brand name, a basic pie range and a website inside two months. Looking back on it now, James readily admits it is probably a lesson in how not to launch a new business. He said, “It’s just amazing how much you can do in a short space of time when you really have to. The pandemic badly affected our core business and Yorkshire Handmade Pies started as our contingency plan. We launched within weeks of the first lockdown and the business took off straight away and has continued growing ever since!”

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After a quick turnaround, orders for their pies began to pour in. Sold through their website and delivered by courier, all Yorkshire Handmade Pies – which come in a box of six – are sent frozen for the customer to cook at home.

Pies Made Properly: The Yorkshire Handmade Pies bakeryPies Made Properly: The Yorkshire Handmade Pies bakery
Pies Made Properly: The Yorkshire Handmade Pies bakery

“What we are aiming to do,” he says, “is get the customer the best quality product and the best eating experience possible. As soon as the pie is baked, it will start to go stale so we made the decision that we were going to sell them frozen and uncooked. That way, when the customer bakes the pies, it’s like they’ve been freshly made.”

Within 18 months of opening, Yorkshire Handmade Pies had received its first coveted three-star Great Taste Award in 2022 for their Yorkshire Steak & Kidney pie, officially making it one of the best in the world. Their Yorkshire Steak & Black Pudding and Yorkshire Samosa pies were awarded two stars, while the Wild Mushroom & Nightmare Porter Ale and Yorkshire Steak & Hambleton Ale both won a one-star award, all in the same year.

Receiving this flurry of prestigious awards confirmed the company was doing something right, and after taking a moment to reflect on the achievement, they got straight back to doing what they do best; making pies that invoke memories, celebrate the tradition of this great British dish and developing new flavours to give the pie a fresh, modern twist.

But what is the secret to a great pie?

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Pies By Post: Yorkshire Handmade Pies are delivered direct to your doorPies By Post: Yorkshire Handmade Pies are delivered direct to your door
Pies By Post: Yorkshire Handmade Pies are delivered direct to your door

“Here at Yorkshire Handmade Pies, we always say a filling has to punch you in the face with flavour – if it doesn’t then we go back to the drawing board. One of the key principles,” James says, “is that we only use fresh ingredients. Even the herbs we use are fresh and not dried. We are trying to replicate, on a much larger scale, how you would make a pie at home, to give people that real home-cooked feeling.”

But it’s not all just about the finished pies that they make and deliver. James is passionate about sourcing ingredients locally, working with as many Yorkshire farmers, growers and producers as possible. The ales in two of their pies come from Hambleton Brewery, located a matter of metres from the Yorkshire Handmade Pies bakery. The pork in one of their pies comes from Anna’s Happy Trotters, in Kilpin near York, and the Chicken that goes into their Braised Herb-Fed Chicken, Smoked Yorkshire Bacon & Leek pie is sourced direct from Herb Fed Poultry, based in Easingwold.

As James says, “the quality of the ingredients is as crucial as developing products and flavour combinations that people can’t buy anywhere else, and we’re trying to educate the customer why paying a little bit more to support our farmers is so important.”

From initially making 2,000 pies a week, they now make more than 10,000 and are at a point where they have run out of room to make as much as they need. That, as James says, “is a problem, because we know there are a lot more people out there who need to experience all the joy that pies have to offer.”

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Tasty: The Yorkshire Steak & Black Pudding PieTasty: The Yorkshire Steak & Black Pudding Pie
Tasty: The Yorkshire Steak & Black Pudding Pie

To keep up with the ever-growing demand for their pies, the company have signed a lease on a much larger, 22,000 square feet purpose-built bakery and are gearing up to take things to the next level. To help with the move to their new home, they have launched a crowdfunding campaign that, for as little as £10, will give investors entry into the main prize draw to win a £5,000 holiday voucher as well as some generous ongoing discounts on their products.

Working in partnership with The Travel Journal, an award-winning independent travel agent based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, one lucky winner will be given the chance to curate their dream getaway and jet off on the holiday of a lifetime.

Not only will your support contribute to the growth of Yorkshire Handmade Pies, but it will directly support British farming and Yorkshire’s local food economy long into the future.

For more information and to invest, visit the Yorkshire Handmade Pies crowdfunding page https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/win-your-dream-holiday.

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