Meet the exhibitor: The Topping Pie Company 10 Nov
Contributed by The Topping Pie Company
From butchers to bakers (but no candlestick makers!)
When Bill Topping opened his butcher's shop in a little suburb of Doncaster, South Yorkshire in 1961 little did he know that it was the start of a multi award-winning company whose products would one day grace the deli counters at Selfridges, Harrods and Booths.
The Scawsby butchers shop was moved to the Doncaster Market Hall a decade later to meet customer demands and today remains a family affair with Bill's grandson Mark managing the shop for more than 20 years and continuing the family tradition.
The pie's the limit for mum Maggie
Bill hung up his butchers' apron in 1989 handing the baton to son Roger alongside his wife Maggie who took over the butchery firm - but it was Maggie's talent and passion for home baking that was to change the shape of the business. In 1991 Maggie took some of her family's favourite original homemade pies made to her own recipes to sell in the butcher's shop.
The reputation of the tasty traditional Topping pies, some inspired by historical recipes dating back to Victorian and Tudor times, quickly spread and within two years Maggie and Roger had set up a separate bakery division and moved to bigger premises to keep pace with customer appetite for family-inspired products.
Trophy cabinet groans under the strain...
Making top quality British pies and quiche is at the heart of the company and the Topping family continue to source and use only the very best locally-sourced British Red Tractor pork meat and ingredients. By 1997 the company continued to enjoy its reputation for fantastic homemade pies and picked up a number of awards - the trophy cabinet is now groaning under the strain of housing more than 40 awards!
By 2000 the company had once again outgrown its premises and The Topping Pie Company was officially born when Roger and Maggie bought a new bakery.
Son gets a slice of the business in sales
In 2010 Roger's youngest son Matthew was brought into the bakery, moving from menswear sales to the independent sector to sell pies. Since joining, Matthew has worked alongside dad Roger and rolled up his baking sleeves in all aspects of the business, moving the Topping brand forwards.
Topping pies have been enjoyed on deli counters up and down the country for many years and Matthew boxed clever with the introduction of a new pre-pack range of speciality pies in 2011 to apply to new customers.
Shopping centre pie shops
Shoppers in the hub of Doncaster's town centre at the Frenchgate Shopping Centre are now tucking into Topping pies since the stand opened in November 2011. Sheffield now has a slice of the action with most recent stand opening in the Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre.
Growing slice by slice
The Topping Pie Company has now transformed from a small family butchers to a multi award-winning speciality pie business supplying a wide range of handcrafted products to retail, independent, wholesale and export customers - but it still retains its traditional family roots and the original butchers shop.
Why choose Toppings?
- It's a family run business - three generations of Toppings family!
- A traditional family butchers and baking business for more than 50 years
- Their pies are made with only the best quality British meat and poultry, locally-sourced
- Red Tractor standard - UK's largest food assurance production standard
- Premium quality British pies made by hand with passion
- Made to Maggie Topping's original homemade family recipes, some taking inspiration from Victorian and Tudor times
- Upper crust guest - The Topping Pie Company's success was honoured with a Royal visit in 2009 when the Princess Royal visited and toured the bakery
- Award-winning - more than 40 awards, including the coveted and prestigious 3 star Gold Great Taste Awards given by the UK's Guild of Fine Food
You can meet The Topping Pie Company at this year's Lincolnshire Food & Gift Fair on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December. To find out more or buy your tickets in advance, just click here.