The Great Meat Pie.

Joined May 10, 2016
Hi All. 

Ok, i'll just get this right out there.. I have no pastry chef experience. 

I have an opportunity to supply 500-1000 meat pies per week. It would be a side project for me and my wife, we potentially have a space we own already we can set up as a mini bakery for the purpose (in NSW, Australia). 

Of course i'd like to expand on that- but they are the sales I can guarantee straight up. Naturally I one day see my pie accepting an Oscar. 

Is it unreasonable to suggest that 1 person could do this quantity in a single days baking?

I'm not a professional baker.. is this an issue? I'm a decent cook and have a knack for figuring things out.

In terms of equipment, what would you recommend.. i have my eye on 1 or 2 Turbofan E35-26's.. good/bad?

Is making our own pastry dough (as we intend to) a great deal better than pre-made pie shells?

Essential equipment? 

I know this is a huge amount of questioning, and yes I have been doing my research. If you can help I would be so grateful. 

Joined Oct 11, 2014
It is all about R&D to begin with. As @Jimyra  has brilliantly suggested, try baking your pies at home first to see the level of production you will have to do when you expand to 500-1000. Once you have the recipes you are wanting to use at the quantities you will be making them at then you expand to the larger venture. 

When you are in a production kitchen (which is what you will be doing) you have to set up a proper production list allocating days of week in which you will prep specific ingredients and recipes and which days you will be assembling the products. 

As for types of meat pies, what style are you looking at doing?? Are you wanting to do straight wall or slanted wall? Are you doing round, square, rectangle or hand pies? This all factors into type of equipment and type of dough pastry used. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
Joined Oct 31, 2012
With no chef experience and no working kitchen, I'm wondering why you got the opportunity to supply that many meat pies. What made someone think you would be a good choice? 

     I ask because I wonder what their expectations are, how serious the offer is and whether or not they know what they are asking for. For an operating business this request may not be a big deal but as this will form the foundation of a business and the investment of your money and time  the offer represents a substantial investment on your part. Are they aware of that?

     Will there be a contract or can they decide to pull out two weeks after you get started? Are there opportunities to expand beyond this initial offer?  If not, how long to pay off the investment of equipment and set up and will the contract be long enough to do that?  

With a single item production line it should be pretty easy to figure your price per pie and weekly cost vs income. In any event, I'd nail down all that before worrying about recipes. 
Joined May 10, 2016
Thanks so much for the replies guys. 

@Jimyra  That is a good idea.. I've done some tests but not tries a big bake up like that. Sounds like my kitchen may get a little crazy this weekend. 

@Fablesable   Thanks, I plan  on making slanted wall lunch pie, round. I'll do some family size too.

@chefwriter    I've basically seen the opportunity and am bringing it to myself. I work for a company that has 5 retail outlets, and is currently selling Mrs Macs only. I'm going through a stage of re branding and part of that will be to offer products that are local, and possibly exclusive to our sites (to a degree). A 'hand made' pie will be better for the company than the Mrs Macs. So.. the birth of my pie.. a pie made right here in town that locals can be proud of. I'll be of course looking for more sales opportunities once this first Client is completely catered for and i've ironed out my production process to a fine fluid art! I'm in a region that is easy to stand out in, and to make a name for yourself. 

I do have some kitchen experience, just not pastry making. I'm thinking of contacting a baker in another region to see if I can do a weeks work experience, or hire a baker to show me the ropes.. as a consultant so to speak. 
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