Plenty! Pies was set up by Marc and Kate Birch in November 2010. We live in Nailsworth in Gloucestershire and make the pies in our bakery in Nailsworth.
Why pies? You may well ask!
We’ll let Marc tell the story:
“First reason: I’m from the Midlands – land of coalmines, whippets, flat caps... and pies.
“Second reason: my lifelong interest (some would say obsession) with cooking, and naturally, eating.
“Third reason: I dipped my toe in the professional culinary world when, pretty much on a whim, I took on a sporting estate in the Cotswolds. The hospitality – delicious game-based meals and copious amounts of alcohol, expected by (mostly) chaps from London down for a day’s shooting, allowed me the chance to hone my skills in the kitchen.
“Preparing top-notch cuisine for lots of discerning visitors to the shoot was, as it turned out, the starting point. We served up gorgeous feasts in a fairytale candle-lit tree-house in the middle of a wood. The shoot quickly gained a national reputation for the best hospitality in the business. The ‘national reputation’ by the way is what the press said (as well as me!)
“As you’d expect, game featured heavily in my menus. I was only too happy to create dishes using this versatile, tasty and healthy natural resource. Big as their appetites were, I couldn’t use all the game on the shoot for the guests, so I hit on the idea of making pies with the pheasants and other game from the estate.
“When the local pubs started demanding more pies than I could make, I knew I couldn’t manage to run two businesses at once. The pies won out!
“Securing a spot in the wonderful Stroud Farmers’ Market and the loyalty, interest and support of local customers soon convinced me (and by then my wife Kate, since I’d persuaded her to join me) that there is a buoyant market for pies that aren’t simply a vessel of mediocracy – we’re producing chalices holding the finest ingredients!”