The Foodie Startup Diaries: Tai Tai Pie Pies

The Foodie Startup Diaries: Tai Tai Pie Pies

Everyone's favourite pie in Hong Kong

Brought to you by:  
Foodie  Foodie Your Guide to Good Taste  on 13 May '15

Foodie loves startups, especially when we unearthed loads of them last year. We revel in the chance to show off their passion for specialist ingredients, thoughtful cooking techniques and indulgent treats.

While we were preparing for the Foodie Market on April 18th, we found some new talent who turned up loads of things we wanted to eat.

One of aforementioned finds of the first round of Foodie Diaries was the immutable Tai Tai Pie Pies. Artisanal handmade pies with the freshest ingredients, brought straight to your home.

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Birthed from a passion and love for the pies the matriarchs of founder RJ would bake for him, he went about creating an artisanal American pie in Hong Kong. Capturing British and Australian/New Zealand pie lovers as well as those of the US, TTPP make dutiable effort to use only state of the art equipment and ingredients, as well as absolutely no additives or preservatives. In other words, these pies are premium.

It's been about 8 months since we last spoke with RJ, and so have quizzed him about the recent developments in the startup food world. 

What are the most significant changes you have seen in HK startup world in the last 12 months?

There is an ever-increasing amount of small food businesses popping up with unique ideas, that consequently are creating a lot of buzz. There is also a lot more focus on markets to counter the rapacious rents. Online distribution seems also to be thriving for this reason. 

Is starting a business here more challenging or straightforward now?

More straight forward I think.  It seems to be a little easier as so many people have laid the ground work for many new ones.  I starteImage titled 5 years ago and there were not as many organizations offering help then.

What are some emerging movements in the food world of Hong Kong?  

Burgers [laughs]. It is actually funny to see how many have popped up. Pizza was last year. I would love to see ice-cream parlors like we have in the USA.

Yes agree! Any new foodie discoveries of late?

Not new per sé, but we are seeing better executions of key items that are more familiar, such as burgers. It also is evident that real food over premade items is increasingly becoming the standard.

What makes Hong Kong consumers unique?

Easily wowed by uniqueness though not always understanding what this uniqueness is.  They are big into the social media and that creates a lot of energy.

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What are some misconceptions about startups? 

They are not high quality enough, or lack the ability to meet demand.  Actually we can turn over fast, and indeed are often able to make it happen even faster than competitors at times.

How do you find your staff, and is finding good staff a challenge in HK?

I found my bakery staff via online postings and my sales ladies from the initial hire who is now my manager. She brings in the talent there.

It is certainly most challenging finding staff when you are a small company.

Three tips for hopeful food entrepreneurs? 

- plan and plan

- focus on quality

- be passionate about what you are doing as that will always give you the upper hand

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What is the most exciting new addition in your stock in the last 3 months?

The last three months have seen doing fun things. The biggest was the 3.1415 π Apple Pie [laughs].

We are creating a line of Asian inspired pies right now that we are excited about, and which we hope will be a huge hit.  We added a pocket apple pie for the CNY holiday in 2 sizes that also proved a big hit.

Delicious. Our office is in envy. Finally, what would your last meal on earth be?

White Truffle Pasta with A LOT OF EXTRA TRUFFLE ON TOP.  And a fabulous bottle of Bertani Amarone. And a fresh peach pie for dessert of course. 

Of course. 

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Like this? Read last week's Foodie Startup Diary on Hong Kong's favourite cafe on the south side, 3/3rds, here.



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