Over the last decade or so I’ve heard many guests from the UK say that they missed their own home food when traveling to foreign parts and particularly when they visit Florida. Many guests moan about the bacon over here as well as the fact they can’t get a decent pie or fish and chips.
My standard answer has always been “That’s why you travel… to try different things!’ Some folks appreciated that but most didn’t so I ended up recommending a few places where they might get some grub to suit their tastes. Usually that might involve the overpriced and over-hyped stuff at many of the British pubs on US 192 or International Drive.
Despite recommending many of the excellent restaurants we have in Orlando, some guests still want what they know so imagine my delight when I learned about a new British style pie shop that sold a variety of pies, pasties and sausage rolls. To be perfectly honest, I first learned of this little treasure a couple of years ago but up until last week, I’d never had time to pop in and take a nose around. It was time!
The first thing to say about The Proper Pie Company is that it is a little difficult to find. In essence it’s right on US 27 just past the I4 junction not far from the Polk County Visitor Center but it is laid back a little at 145 Ridge Center Drive, Davenport, FL 33837 …for those who want the address to put into sat-nav.
Once you arrive, you’ll notice the very British feel about the front of the store. A Union Jack British flag flies outside. As you enter the store, a delightful aroma of baking pies greets you. If you haven’t had that experience in a few years, old memories suddenly come flooding back of grandmother’s baking all day for the working man in their life to arrive home! As you look around, all of a sudden lots of old and familiar names come to the fore; names like Cadbury’s, Colman’s, Bisto, Sarson’s, Bovril, Kipling, Walker’s, etc.
Of course, a lot of these Brit goods are brought in from the old country but the real test was always going to be the quality of the pies, pasties and sausage rolls. So, after spending a good 30 minutes hunting around and having a chat with store owner Derek Gibson, who moved to Florida four years ago, our purchase of Cornish pasties, sausage rolls and a mixture of fresh pies (steak and Guinness / chicken & asparagus / steak & kidney), was complete. We were extremely eager to test the quality of the products and it wasn’t long before the oven was heated, the pies, pasties and rolls were in and we were able to sit down and enjoy our taste test.
Have to say, it was with some trepidation that I took the first bite of a sausage roll! So many times before I’ve been disappointed in the quality but not this time. The authentic taste was there and the roll was very very good. Next up was the pastie and that was very authentic and enjoyable as well. So, finally we came to the real test, the individually hand-made double crusted pie, and all I can say is that I’m a raving fan. All of the pies we tested were mouth wateringly delicious. It’s important to note that in addition to the freshly made pies, the Proper Pie Company also has a wide range of frozen pies to take home for those who aren’t quite hungry just yet!
So finally, we have a place that knows how to make an authentic British pie! Brilliant!
Derek started the Proper Pie Company by attending Farmers markets selling frozen entrees and his family size British style pies. Today, the Proper Pie Company is now selling all over Florida and all the staff are working hard to keep up with demand. They still attend the St Augustine Old City farmers market, Fernandina Beach farmers market and the Saturday Morning Market in St Petersburg.
The store is open Monday to Friday 9am – 6.00 pm and also on Saturday from 10am – 5pm. Enjoy your visit!
Web site link: TheProperPieCompany.com