Foodie mums taking a slice of the pie market
Innovation, pragmatism and sound business advice have helped two Kiwi mums build up a successful pie business. Now they are setting out to conquer the world.
WHEN MAREE GLADING and Jessie Stanley came back to New Zealand from their Big OE in the UK, one of the first things they looked for was a good Kiwi steak and cheese pie.
To their horror, they couldn’t find one that met their expectations.
“We bought a pie to satisfy our craving and were disappointed with the quality,” Maree says.
The solution? To craft their own version of what they thought a good pie should be. And so the 'I Love Pies' brand was born. With both Maree and Jessie being passionate cooks with a love of good food, the vision from the start was to use only top-quality, wholesome ingredients – sour cream in the pastry, free range eggs, no palm oil, no artificial colours or preservatives.
“We decided we would only put into our product what we would give our children,” Maree says.
The first sales foray involved taking 100 handmade pies to the Clevedon Village Farmers Market.
The pies were snapped up within an hour, and their business was profitable in its first year.
Seven years later, sales have grown over 700%, with the annual total retail value of their pies sitting around $5 million.
'I Love Pies' are now sold in more than 300 stores around New Zealand, and the company started exporting to Hong Kong in late 2014.
They are set to explore the Aussie market this year.
Jessie says the launch of their company