Spoon HQ

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sophie Conran seeks time-poor pie lovers

When Sophie launched her gourmet pie company in 2004 her intention was always to sell through the supermarkets, not just the elite food halls.

On 29 November 2006 two delicious Sophie Conran pies will be launched in nationwide in Sainsbury’s top 80 stores.

A number of steps had to be taken to convince the national chains to buy into her dream. Sophie’s small production kitchen in South London was never going to be able to cope with the demand so a new partner had to be selected. After scouring the country, she found a company in the heart of the countryside that worked with the supermarkets but sourced the best possible ingredients, many from local farmers. Over a year in development, these recipes use only products you would find in Sophie’s home kitchen.

In the interest of achieving the keenest possible price the china bowl of the gourmet pies was given the elbow, but not Sophie’s high standards. She insisted that a product bearing her name should meet her ideal of quality.

“Unfortunately, I believe quality comes at a price. Before I embarked on this adventure I did acres of research into pies and was very disappointed in terms of what was available on the market. I personally wouldn’t necessarily trust the ingredients put into other pies. I believe a pie is a beautiful thing and should be made with the best ingredients’
The pies do not contain any artificial colours or flavourings, the puff pastry is made using non-hydrogenated fat, tender pieces of British beef are sourced from specially selected suppliers and the chickens are carefully roasted in-house.

The first two products in the range – a Beef, button mushroom and red wine pie and a Roasted chicken, chermola (Moroccan herb and spice mixture) and preserved lemon pie, both topped with puff pastry – will be launched in Sainsbury’s at an introductory price of £4.99 (after 6 weeks this will increase to £5.99). They will be sold from the chilled cabinet and can be frozen at home.


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