Americans are just starting to understand what makes the Australian-style handheld pies so popular down under. Now, with the quickly expanding company Pie Face launching its second of eight new shops planned, in Manhattan, there will be no mystery left.
“If you are going to try something new, New York is a good place to start,” said co-founder and CEO, Wayne Homschek. “We believe what we are doing is like nothing else out there, and, it strikes a chord with people.” He added, “We do meat pies, which are just potpies you can carry around.”
The first Pie Face opened in January in Midtown, and now, said Homschek, they will be opening their second one next month in the same area. More shops opening in November, December, and January 2013—all in Manhattan, will follow this.
“We are focusing on Manhattan because we think there is a huge opportunity here to have a lot of stores,” said Homschek. “Eventually, we will be national.”
Aside from the actual pies, the unique thing about Pie Face is the hours. It is a quick-stop-shop that stays open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and caters not only to lunch goers but also to the drunken crowd stumbling home from the bar. They make breakfast pies with eggs, sweet pies with flavors like key lime and pumpkin, American-flavored pies like southern barbecue, and classics, including chunky steak and chicken-mushroom, which, said Homschek, are the most popular options both in Australia and the states. Another way Pie Face distinguishes itself from other fast food joints is through the quality of their products. Each pie gets made by hand at a facility in Brooklyn, a place, added Homschek that can support at least twenty more stores.
“It’s all made from scratch and when you taste it, it’s the real stuff,” said Homschek.
The only other places in the city to get meat or veggie pies are Tuck Shop and Dub Pies. Homschek said Pie Face makes theirs a little different by using the skills of his brother-in-law cum pastry chef. Instead of a thick, buttery crust, the one at Pie Face is lighter and more like a croissant.
But, just because it tastes fancy doesn’t mean the pies are expensive. Right now, you can buy a little pie for $2.75 or three for $7.50. A large pie goes for $5.95, and, for a couple extra dollars you get a stack of mashed potatoes and peas on top.