Taking a taste of the Esk Valley to Europe


A young couple have taken a traditional taste of the Esk Valley to Germany and turned it into a business.

Laura Harker and James Mernagh have launched their own pie making venture in Berlin after discovering a gap in the market.

It has now risen to the demands of ex-pats in particular to the point where Laura has given up her office day job.

‘The Pieoneers’ are now taking their home-made British pies made in Germany to food festivals and markets as well as holding their own pie nights.

The traditional pie is quite an unknown concept in Germany which has increased its popularity with the community where Laura and James live.

Laura, 25, said: “I used to work at Ford’s butchers in Glaisdale during the holidays from university and thought I would see if I can try and make them one day.

“They turned out well so I thought I would see if they would sell.”

“They don’t have pies in Germany. People had not had pies for years and missed them and we had found a niche in the market.”

The pair then set about getting the necessary paperwork and trading license, set up a website and hired some kitchen space.

Their first ‘pie night’ in a Scottish bar was a resounding success with the 150 pies they had made selling out within the first half an hour.

Laura uses the same recipe she learned at Ford’s as a teenager but with a twist.

Sourcing English sausage from a New Zealand butcher in Germany, the menu now includes pork pies with apple, prune, black pudding and Scotch eggs.

But, by far the biggest challenge has been converting the German tastebuds.

James, 23, from Ainthorpe, added: “They are unsure as to the concept of the pie.

“They like meat and dough but for some reason have not put the two together. We took samples to a market and they thought they were cakes.”