West Coast premium wild game pies
Emily Lucas opened the doors of a new bakery in Westport last month.
Through her business the West Coast Pie Company she aims to change consumer thinking about wild game meat.
The West Coast Pie Company specialises in premium wild game pies. Their range includes spiced wild nanny goat; wild goat and mint gravy; and a selection of wild venison pies.
“A food journalist once said a three-course meal on the West Coast was ‘a pie and two beers’. We thought why can’t a humble meat pie be a gourmet menu item and we set out to create a really great pie,” Emily said.
Her pies are already garnering national accolades, winning a gold and silver medal at the 2022 Outstanding NZ Food Producers Awards.
The West Coast Pie Company is already employing 5 full-time and 3 part-time staff members, and upskilling her workforce is a key focus for Emily.
“Two of our full-time bakers are enrolled in a baking apprenticeship this year,” she says.
“We aim to work with the local high school and Bakels, the apprenticeship provider, to offer this opportunity annually to a school leaver or in the absence of a candidate we will open it up for anyone who is interested in upskilling and gaining a formal qualification.
“Giving young people and school leavers an opportunity to live, work and train in their hometown is very rewarding for us as a business and we hope to see a long line of qualified bakers coming out of Westport in the future.”
Emily believes the West Coast is a great place to live and do business.
“There is a lot of official support for start-ups from various organisations here which makes the world of difference for small businesses such as ours. It’s not easy starting a business from scratch and having a solid support network is vital."
"When planning the business we decided to apply for finance through DWC so our money stayed in the community rather than with an offshore bank.”
DWC chief executive Heath Milne says the West Coast Pie Company is a great addition to the culinary scene on the Coast.
“The West Coast is an untamed, natural, wilderness of lush green pastures, fertile soils and cool, clear water.
"Our local producers craft some of the most delicious and nutritious food and drink in the world,” Heath concluded.
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