Apparently, pies are the new cupcakes.
As fair as food trends go, it’s a good transition. Pies are wholesome; created by various cultures throughout the ages to use up an overabundance of produce or ugly leftovers and transform them into something deliciously filling. They can be sweet or savory and a complete meal in and of themselves.
Robyn Larocque was drawn to the idea of a pie company for these reasons, but it wasn’t until she suffered through a health scare that she decided to realize the dream of owning her own business by creating the first and only pie shop in Victoria, British Columbia. As a businesswoman and food lover, Robyn understood that the foodie movement is progressing towards local, wholesome ingredients with real flavor and Victoria Pie Co delivers beautifully on those principles. “We have no secrets,” Robyn laughed, while explaining their cozy kitchen setup in the Victoria Public Food Market. But that is exactly the type of place that you want to go for something like pie. You may expect to find a sweet Southern mother in a red apron cooling her pie on the windowsill (are we the only ones who immediately conjure this image?) and instead, you will find gorgeous rustic pastries cooling in trendy wood and glass cases in front of the kind of cool, open concept kitchen that draws hipsters in like moths to a flame. You can eat your pie while observing the dividing of ingredients into the butter and olive oil crust recipe and talk to the friendly bakers as they pull fragrant pies from the ovens.
Robyn’s pie company is not called Victoria Pie Co without reason; she makes a concentrated effort to locally source everything from the Saanich carrots and local poultry in her popular Chicken potpies to dairy from local farmers. When asked about the influence of Victorian culture on her business, she explained that many people expected Victoria Pie Co to be a traditional British pie shop filled with recognizable classics like steak and kidney pie and pasties. Fortunately, they don’t sell either; kidneys, when cooked, give off the pungent odor of urine and traditional pasties are seasoned only with salt and pepper. The alternatives that are offered instead are infinitely more flavorful, the steak and caramelized pies are Gabrielle’s favorite while the sausage hand pies are filled with potato and flavorful white cheddar cheese and are the best selling item on the menu. If you are after something sweet, Belle loves her pie with a scoop of the house-made ice cream while Robyn recommends the apple hand pie, but it comes with a warning label; you may come back two or three times the same day to get another one (it happens!).
The Company also does catering orders and weddings, specials of the day, and is about to unveil a brand new hand pie (*hint hint* do you like chili as much as we do?).
Also, be on the look out for Victoria Pie Company in Vancouver and beyond in the not so distant future!