Monday, 10 October 2011

The Topping Pie Company, Doncaster

When Bill Topping founded his butcher’s shop in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, in 1960 could he know that it was the start of a multi award-winning company whose products would one day grace the delicatessen counter at Harrods? From somewhat humble beginnings Toppings went from strength-to-strength, moving to town centre premises in Doncaster in 1971.

Following Bill’s retirement in 1989, his son Roger and his wife Maggie took over the butchery firm, but it was Maggie’s talent for home baking that changed the landscape of the business. In 1991 Maggie started making traditional home made pies using her own family recipes and totally natural ingredients to sell in the company’s shop. The reputation of the tasty premium pies quickly spread and within two years Maggie had set up a separate bakery division and moved to new, larger premises in order to keep pace with customer demand.

The ethos of the business continues to be that of making pies and quiches using only the very best 100% natural ingredients with no additives or chemicals and locally sourced meat. By 1997 the company continued to enjoy its reputation for fantastic home made pies and picked up a number of awards. By 2000 the company had once again outgrown its premises and the Topping Pie company was officially born when Roger and Maggie took the decision to buy a new, larger building and fit it out as a bakery.

Over the next five years awards continued to flood in. The Best Speciality Food Product from Yorkshire was won two years consecutively and in 2003 Maggie received the accolade of “Speciality Producer of the Year”, awarded by the Guild of Fine Food Retailers. The award was presented at the Great Taste Awards Dinner where Andra Dang, the delicatessen buyer from Harrods first heard about the company and decided he wanted to sell its products on his counter at the top people’s store.

The Topping Pie Company has now transformed from a small family butchers to a multi-award winning speciality pie business, employing 50 people in a newly refurbished bakery.

Milestones
  1. Toppings opened as a butchers shop in Scawsby, near Doncaster by Bill Topping
  1. Toppings moved to Doncaster Market Hall to accommodate a growing customer base
  1. Founder of the business retired and son, Roger and his wife Maggie took over
  1. Toppings awarded butcher of the year in 1991 and 1992
1991 Maggie Topping started to make pies for the business using family recipes and totally
natural ingredients that she had always used at home
  1. Pie sales grew and grew and by 2000 it was necessary to open a bakery in Doncaster
2003/5 Business continues to grow year on year and products win numerous awards
Including Best Speciality Food from Yorkshire two years running and 2003 Speciality
Producer of the Year.
  1. With the support of a South Yorkshire Objective 1 grant and part-funded by the
European Regional Development Fund, Toppings invested £500,000 in the expansion of its bakery as part of its future growth plans to supply major multiples.

Over the past seven years the Topping Pie Company has grown from £60K to a £1.3m turnover business. Every customer loves the taste of Toppings pies because they can see how much passion both Maggie and Roger have for their traditionally handmade products.

Current customers include EH Booths, United Co-op stores; Fenwick’s of Newcastle, Dobbies Garden Centres, ASDA and P&O Shipping Lines. The company is currently in talks with major retailers to stock its premium pies.

Product Range

Pork Pies

Traditional Family Size
Pork Pies (Medium)
Dinkies
Wakefield Rhubarb Pie
Huntsman
Scrumpy Pie
Yorkshire Farmers Pie

Speciality Pork Pies
Game Pie
Apricot Pie
Pork Pie
Apricot & Poultry Pie
Huntsman Pie
Yorkshire Farmers Pie
Scrumpy Pie
Chicken & Ham Pie
Pork & Egg Gala
Pork & Egg Round
Duck & Orange Pie
Cherry Nut & Game Pie

Large Quiches
Cheese & Onion
Chicken & Chive
Sun Dried Tomato
Quiche Lorraine
Salmon & Broccoli
Ham, Stilton & Asparagus

You can buy Topping Pies on line.

(EDITOR: My wife knows a thing or two about pork pies. Some of her relatives are award-winning pork pie makers, themselves. My wife's verdict? "I hate to have to say this, but these Topping Pies are even better than the one's my family makes!") 

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