After failing to find a mince and cheese pie in Canada, New Zealand-born Jamie Scott set up a pie company there to savour the taste of home.
Just over a year later, he’s opened an online store and is also selling pies through the local market. But he hasn’t been able to quit his day-job – yet.
“I looked around for a traditional styled New Zealand pie like mince and cheese but it didn’t exist here”, says 33-year old Scott.
“I began making pies for family and friends and kept perfecting the recipe and then decided to set up a business here and introduce Kiwi-flavours.”
Kiwi pies are quite different from the Canadian pot pies which have a hard body of crust, if any, and flaky pastry for the top, Scott says. Instead, his New Zealand-styled pies have softer crusts, gravy fillings and a variety of flavours – including steak and cheese, bacon and egg, and chicken cranberry and camembert,
“We use local meat from here in Edmonton but try keep the style and flavour to Kiwi classics.”
Scott moved overseas with his Canadian-wife Janice, who says she thought Jamie was mad when he first proposed starting up a pie business.
“I thought he was a little crazy but he had been talking about it for a while and making them so I thought it might be time to start one.
“A lot of people aren’t totally sure what to expect, but… when they try them they enjoy them and find them convenient.”
Janice says a lot of their customers are from Australia and New Zealand or people who have travelled to those places and are “wanting to taste them again”.
The Scotts started selling their pies at the local market in Edmonton and so far that side of the business has grown to hit an average of 200 pies each Saturday. They also operate an online store. Customers pay $C7 per pie and the orders are delivered as frozen goods.
“During the summer it slowed down quite a bit but we found last year in the winter business picked up,” Jamie Scott says.
“Our focus right now is conquering our local market and then hopefully I can make it my full time job.”
Currently Jamie is working fulltime in publications and Janice is a civil engineer, while running South Island Pies outside of work hours.
Jamie is originally from Christchurch but met Janice when in Canada on an OE.
Janice says she first tasted a Kiwi-styled pie when travelling to New Zealand with a friend. He took her to a local shop to taste pineapple lumps chocolate, an L&P, and an “interesting” Kiwi-styled pie.