Online launch saves company in pandemic

A Ripon based firm was faced with laying off its workforce due to the lockdown but found a new recipe for success.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 9:41 am
James Sturdy the owner of Sturdy Foods near Ripon looking at some pof their Yorkshire Homemade Pies.

Yorkshire Handmade Pies was conceived during lockdown when Chief Pie Maker, James Sturdy, who runs Sturdy Foods, found the market for the company’s products, which supplies to pubs and restaurants, suddenly dried up.

Faced with laying off his entire workforce, James realised that there was a huge interest in delicious food made with high quality sourced ingredients delivered direct to people’s homes.

“One positive I have seen from the pandemic is people rediscovering food,” said James who is a third-generation pie maker.

“Without a doubt people want to experience local produce and know the provenance of ingredients.

“I believe Yorkshire has a brand all its own and it is seen as one people can trust.

“People are so receptive to receiving things bought online and people cannot believe the quality, texture, and taste of our pies, it is as if they have been bought from a local farm shop.

“We expected the pies to be popular locally, but we are delivering to every corner of the country daily and we are proud to do so.”

The award-winning Yorkshire Handmade Pies showcases Yorkshire ingredients and the pies feature beers from local breweries, meat from local farms and locally produced vegan options.

James, whose great grandfather first started making pies in his village shop nearly in 1930, has joined the business with with FoodCycle, a charity which runs projects across the country serving meals made from surplus food which would otherwise have gone to waste.

“Every box of pies bought from the company will see a financial donation is being made to FoodCycle to help them continue their work in local communities and help fund more projects,” said James.

And Sturdy Foods is a member of the Living Wage Foundation and the voluntary Good Business Charter.

Yorkshire Handmade Pies won three awards at the prestigious 2020 British Pie Awards.