By Karen Carruth

What has happened to the humble pie? It was once seen as a poor man’s meal, a comfort on a cold night. But now, it has been reborn as a premium product, with a plethora of fillings to suit all tastes.

Jarvis Pickle is a family business that has been growing in an upward trajectory for the past 18 months, since the business moved from Susie Upton’s kitchen, into a unit in Eyemouth.

 “What started as a small business idea with a neighbour producing barely 100 pies/month, has grown so much we are now making around 2000 pies a week. All still hand filled and maintaining the standards we stick to, of using the most local and healthiest ingredients,” says Susie.

Susie now has the family on board, son Jamie Brown was the driving force to create something bigger, bringing the energy needed and significant marketing experience, and her husband Andy is also the hands-on fixer of everything.

It’s also nice to have some recognition of all the hard word and their pies are now officially award winning. They entered their pies into the British Pie Awards and their Cullen Skink pie won best in the fish class and their pork and blue cheese pie won the category for best meat pie in Scotland. A huge accolade for the family business.

They also picked up silver awards for their chicken and leek pie and Moroccan lamb pie; with bronzes for their cauliflower curry pie and pheasant and pancetta pie.

And back this year by popular demand is their Christmas pie. Susie says that customers loved the combination of creamed brussel sprouts, chestnuts, free range chicken, bacon and cranberry sauce. A perfect Christmas meal in a beautifully presented pastry package. 

The companies upturn started when Susie got the call last year to provide a pie to all 2000 competitors at the Edinburgh Ironman competition when they crossed the line.

Since then they have managed to maintain the high output through a growing wholesale business supplying pies to restaurants, delis, and food retailers, as well as offering private events, food festivals and running their hut in George Square Gardens for the Edinburgh Fringe.

They also have a small shop on the front of their premises at Eyemouth, a mini farm shop, which stocks their range of pies as well as other local farm produce, including organic meat, cheese, veg boxes and a carefully selected range of alcohol.

Expanding allowed them to take on seven staff and they can now cater for functions, eg, buffet lunches and wedding receptions, and they often have street food set-ups in operation.

Susie says: “I’m surprised by the success, I didn’t realise how many people love pies. There is a great variety on the market and I feel we offer a tremendous product. I like to think of our pies as a casserole in a pie. And we can provide traceability for all our fresh ingredients.”

The upcoming plans are to provide an online shop, supplying customers a direct mail order service. Susie continues: “We are really pleased to be able to offer our customers the chance to buy directly from us, and by next year we will have another four new flavours to offer too.”

A box of fresh pies delivered direct to your door sounds tremendous, dinner for the whole family with everyone’s tastes catered for. The pies freeze, which means that you can buy a box of maybe eight or 12 and freeze what you don’t use immediately.

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