Bermuda Pie Angle: Pukkas are selling like hot cakes on exotic island
It has been a fixture on British chip shop menus for decades.
Now, the traditional Pukka pie is making a splash somewhere a little more exotic.
Syston's finest are selling like hot cakes on the tiny Atlantic island of Bermuda.
Stores such as the island's Supermart – which also flies in Waitrose items for the island's wealthy ex-pat community – are bringing the pies in frozen and selling them to Brits desperate for an authentic taste of home.
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About 10 per cent of the island's 65,000 population are British.
Simon Tuxworth is head butcher on the award-winning meat counter at the upmarket Supermart, in Front Street, which is in the British overseas territory's capital, Hamilton.
Simon, from Lincolnshire, also sells stilton from Leicestershire's Long Clawson dairy, sausages from his home county, British bacon and pork pies, although not ones from Melton.
He said the Pukka pies and stilton were flown in by a local importer on British Airways. The pies sell for $5.19 each – about £3.20.
"A Pukka pie is the kind of thing our English customers want, especially in the middle of the Bermudian winter," he said.
"Having said that, the weather right now is gorgeous.
"We've had them for probably six months and sell about 10 a day – chicken and mushroom, steak and kidney, beef and onion.
"We have them on a small display on the butcher's counter and take them out of the freezer a few at a time. About 25 per cent of our customers are ex-pat and they're the ones who buy the pies.
"I don't know what the locals think of them, but I don't think our American customers like the idea of meat pies at all."
Simon sells about 20lbs of stilton a week, which is snapped up by the island's continental European residents as well as UK ex-pats.
Peter Mayes, marketing controller at Pukka Pies' headquarters in The Half Croft, Syston, was not surprised that his pies were selling in Bermuda.
He said the company did about £250,000 to £300,000 of trade overseas each year.
"Most of our products are available for export so they find their way to different places," he said.
"Obviously, frozen food is a bit harder to move around than a can of beans, for instance, but we have exported as far as Singapore.
"Pies are very much associated with Britain, so we do think there is the potential to take that to a wider audience."
The county pie-maker saw sales grow 10 per cent to £37.5 million last year. It makes about 60 million pies each year.
Pukka already exports to holiday hotspots such as Spain, Portugal and Greece and has even sold pies in Singapore and the posh French ski resort of Val d'Isere. There have also been inquiries from China.
Other markets include Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
The Hamilton Supermart is looking for a British butcher. See: www.supermart.bm