It All Started as a Butcher Shop
In 1949, my Grandpa and his brother opened a small Scottish butcher shop, pursuing their dream of owning a business in Detroit, a prosperous city full of more opportunity than their native Windsor, Ontario. Their objective was to offer the highest quality, fresh-cut meats and superior customer service to the local Scots in the neighborhood. They sold the hand-ground Scottish meats including haggis, beef bangers, and black pudding, reminiscent of the ones they shared in their youth with their Scottish parents.
Since they were already hand-grinding the meat and receiving overwhelming requests from their Scottish customer base to make and sell traditional Scottish meat pies, it made sense to develop the bakery side of the business. Grandpa began to test different meat pie recipes and techniques by using his own taste and sampling different iterations with customers from the “old country”.
Creating the pie shell was the most challenging aspect for him, but he found his answer by shaping the dough over mason jars and allowing them to air dry in his basement for a few days, 48 at a time, since that was all of the space he had in which to work. Once the shells were dry, he would take them to the bakery where he would fill with them with meat and spices, bake, and sell them as soon as they came out of the oven. Then it was back to the basement with dough-covered mason jars.