Pie lovers eye big expansion
Four years ago, Auckland friends Maree Glading and Jessie Stanley started selling a handful of pies each week at the Clevedon Farmers Market.
This month, the pair's company, I Love Pies, was named Best Emerging Business at the 2012 Westpac Auckland Central Business Awards.
The manufacturers of family-sized pies now produce thousands of pies a week, supplying more than 150 outlets around the country, including supermarket chain Foodstuffs.
They plan to grow the business to five times its current size over the next five years.
Next year the company will launch in Australia, diversifying into new pastry products and seasonal recipes for New Zealand customers.
Glading and Stanely both have a background in product innovation, and started I Love Pies as a way to escape the corporate world while raising families.
They believed there was a gap in the market for a product that wasn't full of "gristle and gloop".
"When we launched our first pies, we were confident we had created a product that would resonate with fellow pie lovers who appreciated a Kiwi classic made from fresh, quality ingredients," Glading said.
"Despite our sizeable growth of 80 per cent over the past year alone, we don't cut any corners and each pie is still made by hand."
I Love Pies use free-range chicken, bacon and eggs, with parts of the business, including manufacturing, outsourced.