Humble Cuckfield butcher’s shop turned award-winning Crawley pie producer

Crawley based pie maker The Real Pie Company is celebrating after winning a hat-trick of Great Taste Awards for 2016.

The company, which was started by a small butcher in Cuckfield 16 years ago, still hand make all their pies. They now have a multimillion pound turnover at their ‘operating kitchen’ in Rutherford Way.

The winners of the Great Taste Awards were announced at the beginning of August and are considered the ‘Oscars’ of the food world.

The Real Pie Company won with three of their pies: Steak and Kidney Pie; Steak and Mushroom Pie and Steak and Stilton Pie.

It follows hot on the heels of winning eight awards at the Melton Mowbray British Pie Awards 2016 including one for The Real Pie Company’s newest flavour, Steak and Mature Cheddar.

The new flavour is being added to the Real Pie Company’s range. All Real Pies are hand-crafted, baked in small batches under the watchful eyes of Real Pie chefs and they have full farm to fork traceability.

They contain only British ingredients and wherever possible, locally sourced. Real Pies are uncompromisingly wholesome and as the judges found out ‘crammed to the crust’ with flavour.

Christine Cossins, managing director at The Real Pie Company said: “We are proud to produce hand-crafted pies which are full of flavour and use the highest quality ingredients.

“The series of awards we have achieved are proof of the quality of our real pies.”

The company has humble beginnings when a small butcher’s shop saw a gap in the market.

Christine said: “It was started by a married couple, a butcher in Cuckfield and they wanted to sell good quality pies.

“When they couldn’t find one on the market, they came up with recipes.

“The pies were so popular they shut the butcher’s shop and move to our premises. We now have in excess of £3million turnover.”

Christine added: “We still use the traditional recipes. We have just updated them for nutritional reasons, such as reducing salt and things like that.

“It’s all made with Red Tractor meat - British top quality products. Everything is made by hand.

“There is no machinery at out site. We are an operating kitchen not a factory. We have gone from a little butcher in a 300sqft unit and now we are in 7,500sqft unit.”

The company sell most of their products in farm shops and butchers shops and also more unexpected sources of success.

They appear regularly on the QVC shopping channel, putting together packages with different combinations of flavours.

They can make up to £60,000 in one hour at the QVC shopping channel and will become the biggest food brand on the channel this year.

For more details of their products, including their stockists, go to www.therealpieco.co.uk