How they make it: Dad's Pies on growth path as Japan develops appetite for pies
New Zealanders spend more than $110 million on meat pies each year, a good chunk of which are Dad's Pies.
Eddie Grooten bought Dad's Pies in 1981 for $18,000 when it was a small beach-front shop in Red Beach with no brand or logo.
In 2001 Dad's Pies moved to a Silverdale factory where up to 28,000 pies are baked an hour. The company has since become a major player in the industry producing 13 million pies a year.
Part of its success is the result of a 32-year relationship with BP, now supplying more than 200 BP petrol stations throughout the country.
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It also supplies Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Progressive and Foodstuffs supermarkets and convenience stores.
Grooten said Dad's Pies has experienced double digit growth since rebranding and winning a silver medal in the 2015 Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards mince and cheese commercial and wholesale category.
It has also experienced unprecedented growth since it started exporting to Japan four years ago.
"It's a bit like 10 years ago when Kiwis discovered Sushi," Grooten said.
Dad's Pies also exports to Singapore, Hong Kong and the Pacific.
The company employs 85 staff and has about 200 pie recipes on its books, but only produces about 20 varieties at any one time.
Dad's Pies won silver in the commercial/wholesale category at this year's Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards.
The awards attracted more than 5000 entries across 12 categories.
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