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Voyages: Humble Pie Kitchen

Voyages: Humble Pie Kitchen

5 years ago, a New Zealander named Mike Noakes rounded up his belongings and hopped on a plane to Canada. Next thing he knew, he had landed in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Although he was immediately shocked by the cold weather and the abundance of fluffy white stuff falling from the sky, there was something else that truly blindsided him. No matter where he looked, he could not find a decent meat pie.

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For those who don’t know, Antipodean-style hand pies are a staple food in NZ. These palm-sized flavour explosions packed with savoury ingredients come inside a buttery package of flaky crust and are served steaming hot. While the filling can range anywhere from minced beef and mushroom gravy to wilted spinach and feta, the classic pie comes loaded with gooey steak and cheese and can be consumed any time of the day from breakfast to dinner.

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Following a lengthy debate over what was to be done about this increasingly worrisome issue, in 2012 Mike decided that perhaps making a few of his own pies would be easier than riding his bike all the way to New Zealand (he wasn’t the first to have this idea). While the first batches of pies were strictly for personal consumption, people loved the pies so much that Mike figured he could make a few bucks selling them on the weekend and in March 2013 Humble Pie was formed.

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After partnering up with a Dartmouth local named Shauna MacLean, Mike did what any aspiring food entrepreneur would do – he called in favours. Until last year when they finally opened their shop, the two would use another restaurant’s kitchen to keep up with the demand they experienced selling pies at the Alderney Landing Farmer’s Market. From their humble beginnings baking 50 pies a week, Mike and Shauna have worked their asses off to create what is now a wildly successful food establishment that cranks out 1000+ pies a week and sells around 100 each day.

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With 11 flavours now a part of their repertoire including butter chicken, donair, and chicken & cranberry brie, the fine folks at Humble Pie have turned their focus to pushing the envelope, and according to Mike, the reception from locals has been overwhelming. While their house motto reads, “it’s hard to be humble,” Mike and Shauna’s down to earth enthusiasm for recreating the authentic New Zealand experience is a lesson in humility that any one can learn from.

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If you are looking for the perfect pie, head to Dartmouth’s Humble Pie Kitchen today. And remember, come hungry, leave crumbs!

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