Bigger menu, distribution for English Pork Pie

August 15, 2013 Updated Aug 15, 2013 at 10:30 AM EDT

By James Fink, Buffalo Business First

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Bigger menu, distribution for English Pork Pie

August 15, 2013 Updated Aug 15, 2013 at 10:30 AM EDT

The English Pork Pie Co.'s already vast menu has become larger as the South Buffalo-based company has added a new line of more traditional pot pie offerings.

The company, under the Pie Mad brand, has created nearly 90 different pot pie variations that are being sold directly through English Pork Pie or traditional supermarket outlets such as Tops Friendly Markets and Wegmans Food Markets. Some of the pot pies will be sold nationally while others will catered to specific regions or holidays, said Damien Parker, co-founder, English Pork Pie Co.

"It is an evolutionary step for us and our growth," Parker said.

All of the pot pies will be made at the English Pork Pie headquarters and manufacturing center on South Park Avenue where the company employs 13 people but is expected to see a hiring spike as the new lines take hold with shoppers.

Parker said he is acquiring new baking machinery that will enable the company to produce as many as 28,000 pies a day. Currently, English Pork Pie produces between 2,000 and 18,000 pies daily, depending on the season and customer demand.

"We spent three years working on the pot pie recipes," Parker said. "We developed them on the side as we were focusing on our pork pies."

All of the pot pies come in microwave-safe trays and are viewed as "grab and go" food items.

The initial five pot pies offerings, currently be sold at Tops, include a Philly Cheese Steak, Cheesehead, Paddy's Irish Pie, Columbus and the Buffalonian. Paddy's Irish Pie, for instance, is filled with meat, potato and gravy while the Buffalonian is filled with spicy chicken and the Columbus has chicken, vegetables, cheese sauce and pepper.

Wegmans will begin stocking the pot pies next month.

Among the regional pot pies being developed and marketed includes a crawfish-based version that's targeted for the Louisiana area and the Woodstock, which is a vegetable-based pie, that will be sold downstate as well as in Vermont and other New England states.

Nationally, the English Pork Pie Co. has created a Morning Glory pot pie filled with bacon, sausage, egg and cheese.

"We want each pie to have its own identity," Parker said.

Vicky Parker, Parker's wife and business partner, said adding the pot pie lines is crucial for the company and its growth pattern. The Parker's anticipate the new line will translate to increased sales for the Humble Pie Group, parent to English Pork Pie Co., English Pie Co. and Pie Mad. Humble Pie is headquartered in English Pork Pie's South Park Avenue plant.

"I could see this revitalizing the pot pie world inside supermarkets," Vicky Parker said. "There is something about all of our pies. They are all humble, 'feel good" food items."

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