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Pie-Oneering Buffalo

Damian and Vicky Parker, owners of the steadily growing English Pork Pie Company recently added another expansion to their list when they opened “The Pie Shop” at the front of their South Park Avenue factory (see history), making it the first authentic English pie and mash shop in Buffalo. Whether you’re a British expat or just a hungry Buffalonian looking to fill your belly with the freshest meat pies around, this little shop is an ideal place to stop at on your way into or out of the city. 
The Parkers came to the U.S. from Britain and started their business in 2008 in a small converted kitchen area in a garage in Vermont, which they quickly outgrew. Later that same year, they headed for Buffalo to their first bakery location in West Seneca. By 2010, they had to relocate to a larger factory setting in Cheektowaga to accommodate their business’ growth, and by the next year, they were on the move once more to a larger factory building that the business currently calls home at 1176 South Park Avenue. 
“It’s been an interesting location, kind of a last stop before you get to the city,” Damian said. “It’s been a better place for us to be. We’re located close to Canada, close to flour suppliers and meat suppliers, and close to the 90 as well, so it has good channels for distribution.”
When the Parkers started their business, they didn’t anticipate that it would take off and expand at such a rapid rate. “The more pies we make, the bigger we grow, the more machinery we buy…I figured it would take about 20 years, not three and a half years,” Damian said with a laugh. “It’s been extremely challenging, but it’s been rewarding to see it grow.” 


With business pouring in from around the U.S. and from international customers as well, the pace certainly hasn’t slowed down for the Parkers, who clock 16 hour workdays all week long to keep up with their orders. Although they have plenty of business coming in from outside Buffalo, they have decided to turn their focus toward establishing a stronger presence in the local community by opening The Pie Shop. “There’s more and more local people who are finding us through The Pie Shop, which is great because most people still don’t know about us,” Damian said. “People in Singapore and Australia inquire about our pies, but people in Buffalo still don’t know we’re here. It’s only been a week, but we get people from as far as Florida who will drive down over the weekend.”
According to the Parkers, pie and mash shops are fairly common in larger towns in England, but theirs will be the first in this area. In terms of authenticity and freshness, you simply won’t find a better option than what’s on the menu at The Pie Shop. There will be a varying selection of pies coming hot off the production line, as well as mashed potatoes, steak and chips, and pie and gravy. They have also recently started manufacturing desserts under the English Dessert Company label, including egg custard tarts and proper British scones, which will be available at the shop. Their Facebook page will have daily updates on what the shop will be serving that day. 


Those looking to grab a hot, healthy breakfast on their way into work can pick up coffee and a breakfast parcel to take with them on the road. Orders can also be called in or made online. For those who aren’t in a rush, there is plenty of outdoor seating to sit and enjoy some sunshine along with your authentic British meal. “It’s kind of a misconception that English food is bland,” Damian added. “It’s more diverse and more tasty than most pies, and we have a huge range of pies.”
That commonly held misconception seems to be fading, at least in the local community. According to Damian, business at the Pie Shop started picking up as soon as they posted the sign outside the factory. “We never know how busy we’ll be or where they’re going to come from. We’re getting more and more Canadians coming across to try our pies,” he said. “It started off with expats hunting us out, then it started being more American people. We’ve got a very high repeat customer base. They started slowly turning into weekly regulars, and then daily.”


The Parkers are also trying to build a bigger base of distributors in the area, although most of their customers come straight to the factory to pick up their products. Their pies are currently available at Premier Gourmet, but they are also working to get two or three local Irish Bars to carry them. According to Damian, some of their customers have been campaigning Wegmans to stock them as well.  “We’ve grown completely from word of mouth and social media,” he said. “We’re just trying to establish a local Buffalo customer base. We’re trying to get local people to help support the business and create more jobs, and also get locals to try something different–a pie that’s actually good for them and has real filling.”
Just as their authentic British food has begun to win over local customers stopping in to check out the Pie Shop, the city of Buffalo seems to have made a great impression upon the Parkers  “It grows on you,” Damian said. “I thought I’d be the only English person here, but there’s quite a large British population in the area, which is nice. Buffalo does grow on you, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else now. I’ve seen quite a lot of states, but none as homey as this.”
The Pie Shop will be open seven days a week: Monday to Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To learn more about the business or to check out what they’re serving on any given day, check their website or Facebook page.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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  • hamp

    I love this company, and these folks seem like great people…..
    …..but how about making the place a bit more inviting (hire a designer)…….

  • YesSir

    Look at this way, if they had hired a designer you would have been severely critical of the end design, so either way they are going to hear your wrath. Customers in their demographic go for product not design. My guess, savings and prudent investment are probably important to their business than hiring some trust fund liberal arts major to play with his crayons.

  • Polonia

    It’s not located in the Elmwood Village with the uppity yups. Forget the design bring on the GRUB!

  • RaChaCha

    This is so outrageously, utterly cool that I would have a hard time believing it’s a real thing if I didn’t know that it is.
    But the aspect of this story I love most isn’t in the article. This location is smack-dab in the middle of Riverbend, a site in South Buffalo that the City has spent $Millions developing plans for that I have always thought a bit unrealistic. Basically, a planned mixed-use office/industrial park with a created “village center.”
    Meanwhile, the only building at Riverbend that existed in reality and not on paper was this vacant food processing facility. And I got the distinct impression from City planners that they assumed in the course of their plans unfolding that the building would eventually go away and its land along the Buffalo River would become part of the larger Riverbend development. In fact, when I told a City planner involved in Riverbend that this Pork Pie thing was going to happen with that building, he clearly hadn’t heard about it, and seemed to spend a moment trying to get his mind around how this would relate to their expensive, elaborate plans.
    There’s nothing more fun than watching professional planners create elaborate and (in my view) misguided schemes for things that could (in my view) be better accommodated elsewhere being trumped by someone coming in under the radar and taking an opportunity to create something great — that I suspect will only become greater! But not for that reason, but out of genuine respect and gratitude, do I wish these folks the very best and thank them for their investment in Buffalo.
    Will pork pies enter the Buffalo food pantheon–? Stay tuned…and don’t bet against it!

  • YesSir

    You (he/she) is right (in my view).

  • JM

    I just stopped by for lunch today and it was great. Once word spread this place will be busy, it really seems to fit in to the Buffalo Comfort food thing. I think they’d make a killing with a Truck or a location closer to Bars, although this place is nice for those of us that live in South Buffalo and work in the City.

  • moonqueen

    I am wondering if Wegmans, with their broad variety of ethnic goodies and love of local food/produce vendors would be a good market for them to expand into. With the Wegmans in Black Rock being so far from their location, it would serve an entirely different segment of the population. Also, we all know there are lots of suburbanites who would sample these from their local Wegmans but never drive into the city to get them (not everyone mind you, but quite a few, who think setting foot inside the city equals instant assualt, drug sales attempts and possibly even theft of their iPhone). Plus…I live near Wegmans…and I don’t want to drive 25 minutes to get these (selfish).
    I think if a place has quality food and is offering something different they don’t need ostentatious design to be “inviting.” Nothing is more inviting than classic comfort food. See Suzy Q’s. Simple, but delicious, laid back and relaxing.

  • ablejack