Village pub pie recipe goes national as Asda stocks up
Supermarket taste testers are going Mad About Pies.
From humble beginnings in the kitchen of a village pub, Gloucestershire could be home to the next culinary sensation after Asda, the Co-op and online food giant Ocado started stocking Phil Kiernan’s high-end range of savoury meals.
He runs the Farmer’s Boy pub in Longhope and knew he was onto something when guests kept asking to take home the pies flying off his menu.
It grew into its own range, called Mad About Pies, and saw Phil and his team open their own pie factory in Cinderford to keep up with demand, selling them at the pub’s in-house deli.
But now, things are set to take off on a whole new scale after Asda, the latest big chain to take an interest, came calling.
Hannah Cornwall, manager of the Farmer’s Boy, said: “We’re making about 1,000 pies a week in Cinderford at the moment but, within six months to a year, we think that will be up to 10,000.”
Three people are employed at a unit in the Forest Vale Industrial Estate to hand make every pie at the moment but if demand keeps increasing at the current rate, many more - not to mention a bigger factory - will be needed.
“It’s quite a small unit we’re in at the moment, we’ll definitely have to move,” said Hannah. “But we’re staying local, wherever it is we go.”
She added: “It’s just down to hard work. We put in a lot of hours marketing the pub and the pies and making sure everything is as good as it can be.
“Phil has been all over the place meeting with the supermarkets, he’s had to go through taste tests and all sorts but it’s paying off.”
Asda stores in Gloucester, Hereford, Trowbridge and Wheatley were the first in the country to start stocking Mad About Pies and took deliveries on Friday.
Phil, Hannah and the team have been given a massive boost by securing endorsements for the pie range from Michelin-starred chef Martin Blunos and Gloucestershire’s own rugby behemoth-turned MasterChef winner Phil Vickery.
They aren’t resting on their laurels, though - talks with Tesco about getting Mad About Pies on the shelves there, are ongoing too.
And they are also teaming up with nearby May Hill Brewery to come up with a special pie-accompanying ale in the near future.
All the ingredients in the pies are locally sourced and Hannah said their success was down to sheer quality.
“A lot of pies on the market are just full of sauce and hardly any meat, but we’re exactly the opposite,” she said.
Mad About Pies has four recipes in its range:
-Steak and ale
-Chicken, leak and mushroom
-Wild boar and cider