Factory site for pie man

NEW FACTORY: May's pies owner Bernie Sugrue outside the site of the new factory.
NEW FACTORY: May's pies owner Bernie Sugrue outside the site of the new factory.

The construction of a new multimillion-dollar May's pie factory in Washdyke has kicked off.

May's Bakery owner Bernie Sugrue confirmed yesterday that work had begun and he hoped it would be finished by March.

"We are just going through the consenting now. It has been scaled back. We won't be opening a cafe out there like originally planned until a bit later. We have been busy with two new cafes in Christchurch which open next week."

The 1050 square metre building being upgraded was formerly home to Mainland Minerals, on Hilton Highway.

It will take over the output of the lower Stafford St May's shop, which is producing about 10,000 pies, sausage rolls and pasties a week. It is hoped the new factory will employ more than 20 staff.

Mr Sugrue owns the KB Bakery sites in Christchurch. Five of the stores have been closed but new stores have been opened under a new Metropolitan Bakery and Milk Bar brand. Both May's stores in Stafford St would stay open for the foreseeable future, he said.

The factory will also produce artisan breads with bread-making equipment from Italy and Australia. He estimated the new factory would cost about $2 million.

Mr Sugrue took over May's in March last year and initially had to make six redundancies as the business was struggling.

He purchased the business from Wendy and Phillip Smith.

Mrs Smith is the granddaughter of Alex May, who set up the business in 1914. From his Scottish home of Peterhead, he brought the famous May's pies recipe that uses mutton instead of beef, and a boiled pastry.

The Timaru Herald