Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Gourmet Pie Company - The Factory Ambience

The Founders - Adam & Jane Wilson 














The Factory 

The Factory started operations in 2014, is located in Sembawang Area, at Admiralty Street, Food Exchange Building, occupies a two level 3000 square ft space, equipped with Hot Kitchen & Clean Room, Temperature-Controlled Rooms, Multi-purpose Rooms to keep the pastries. 

The Factory Ambience - The Inside View 
This is the Storage Room (below) where Just-In-Time ingredients arrived from the vendors & suppliers ensure the ingredients are fresh and used immediately to reduce wastage. 

The Meat Processing Station (below) where fresh chilled meat such as lamb from New Zealand and beef from Australia are processed. The fats and sinews are first removed, then the meat is cut into approximately same size cubes. The Kitchen has clear instructions and manual delineating which color boards are used for what type of produce. 

The Pastry Processing Station (below) where fresh butter from New Zealand are cut into smaller cubes, then blended in an Electronic Mixer, together with other unnamed secret ingredients that made up the special recipe for the pastry dough at The Gourmet Pie Company.




The Pastry Sheet Making Machine Station (below) is where the blended pastry dough are pressed into flat sheets with diameters set according to recipe requirements. 


The Molding Machine Station (below) serves to hold two pieces of the round pastry base together to ensure the base has the desired thickness to hold the generous pie fillings.   

The pastry base is set by the molding machine, and set to chill in the chiller for a day, ready to be used. 

This is the Gas Stove Station (below) where the meats are slow roast in the huge cast iron pans using gas stoves for between 3 to 8 hours depending on what meat is cooking. 


The Cooling Station (below) - once the meat for the pie fillings are fully cooked, they are transferred into sealed bags and their temperatures immediately brought down by submerging the sealed bags into ice water in ice boxes.  

The Chiller Station (below) - the sealed bags containing the pie fillings are then stored in the chiller to allow the meat to be fully infused with the flavors of the meat stock for 24 hours for use the next day. 


This is the Pie Filling Station (below) where the pastry base is topped with the pie filling and sealed with the pastry top. 


The sealed pies are kept in the Chiller (below) for delivery the next day. 


This is the German imported Styrofoam boxes (below) used to hold the frozen gourmet pies for delivery to the outlets, made specially to be able to keep food cold for 6 hours. 

The Gourmet Pie Company is located at : 
1. myVillage at Serangoon Gardens 
#B1-K2, myVillage, 
1 Maju Ave Serangoon Gardens 
S(556679)
Telephone: +65 6636 9045 
(or Head Office 6570 0094) 
Fax: +65 6491 5968  
Opening Hours: 
Mon to Sun & PH: 10.00am – 10.00pm  

2. NORTH BRIDGE ROAD (Arab District)
776 North Bridge Road, 
Singapore 198744 
Telephone: +65 6298 8896 
(or Head Office 6570 0094) 
Fax: +65 6491 5968  
Opening Hours: 
Mon to Wed: 9.00am – 6.30pm 
Thur to Sat: 9.00am – 8.30pm  
Sun & PH: Close               

3. CIRCULAR ROAD (Clarke Quay Area) 
72 Circular Road,  
Singapore 049426 
Telephone: +65 6557 2734 
(or Head Office 6570 0094) 
Fax: +65 6491 5968  
Opening Hours: 
Mon to Wed: 9.30am – 10.00pm 
Thur to Sat: 9.30am – 11.00pm  
Sun & PH: Close



For Takeaway Orders you can download the form http://thegourmetpiecompany.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Order_Form_V12_FINAL.pdf & email the order to : eat@thegourmetpiecompany.com 

The Gourmet Pie Company - The Story of Its Beginnings

The Beginnings














The Ownership - The Gourmet Pie Company is owned by enterprising Australian couple of Irish & English descent, husband & wife team : Adam & Jane Wilson. 

Co-Founder Adam Wilson handles the Finance, Business Operations, Business Development, Marketing, Branding, PR & Communications  for the Company and oversees the Business Operations of the company's three outlets in Singapore. 

Chef Jane Wilson is the Co-Founder & Executive Chef and handles the Kitchen & Factory Operations as well as New Product Development & Product Quality and is based at The Gourmet Pie Company factory at Admiralty Road. 

The Origins - Both Adam & Jane Wilson started out working as bankers in finance industry, working in various fields of banking, finance, stock broking.
The couple moved to Singapore from Australia since 2007 (thereabout 6 years ago), this being the couple's 7th year here. Currently the couple hold PR status.

Having stayed & lived here in Singapore since 2007 and love the business environment here, the Wilsons desired to start a business in Singapore and were mulling over what business to venture into. One thing for sure - they are both very passionate about bringing a part of their Australian heritage to Singapore. 

It all started the day 3 years ago in 2010 that Adam craved for a great meat pie, and Jane took to task to satisfy his craving and made him a meat pie. It then dawn on them that this is exactly what they could do - Pies! They both decided to set up a business making & selling not just ordinary pies, but Gourmet Pies - and named their company "The Gourmet Pie Company".

In order to ensure they had the right product for the right market, it took Chef Jane Wilson thereabout 8 months to develop and fine-tune the pastry pie recipes till they are ready. They started The Gourmet Pie Company in 2011, with Jane on board Full-time, and Adam joining in 2012. Their finance background was a great boost to their business venture,  as they both know how to run businesses right from the start. Together between the two, they have accumulated a total of 30 years experience in F&B industry. 

In 2011 the first outlet was opened, then subsequently the second outlet started operations, and finally the third outlet opened soon after. The 3 retail outlets were opened with the expectation that it would attract the expatriate clientele, little did they realize that locals were drawn to it as well, especially for those who studied in Australian universities before returning to Singapore. The demographics showcase a balanced mix of 50:50 of locals vs expatriates. 



The Heritage - Co-Founder Adam Wilson is of English descent, is born and grew up in Australia. Adam Wilson comes from a family who owns businesses in the F&B industry. His parents own & run several Restaurants & Catering businesses in Australia. 

Chef Jane Wilson is of Irish descent, her Dad comes from Ireland, whilst her Mum is of German & British descent. Chef Jane Wilson herself is a second generation new Australian citizen, being born & bred in Newcastle, Australia where her mother too, was born. 

Treasury of Pastry Recipes - The traditional pastry recipes used at the factory here has been passed down through 3 generations from Jane's maternal grandmother (her nana), whilst the traditional casserole recipes come from her mother. Jane's maternal grandmother used to be a Master Chef in Australia in the 1900s, and develop all these pastry recipes. Jane's mother is a Registered Pharmacist. 

The Positioning - The Gourmet Pie Company runs both retail and wholesale businesses : 
1. Three outlets offering a casual dining experience with beer & wine paired with the food served. Retail outlets operate in Boat Quay (Circular Road), North Bridge Road (Arab District), Serangoon Gardens (MyVillage).
2. Wholesale business from factory that started in May 2013. 
Currently The Gourmet Pie Company earns its business revenue from both the retail as well as wholesale business division with about equal weightage on each division. 

The Wilsons started The Gourmet Pie Company brand on their own as they could not find any franchise they like that has the same philosophy they embrace. The brand is in the midst of obtaining approval for trademark registration. This is a 100% Singapore company, with focus on the Singapore market, promoting good old Australian culture & heritage of enjoying a great tasting gourmet pie customized to local palate.  

Currently the shareholder ownership is limited to staff & senior staff, with Adam & Jane Wilson being the majority shareholder. The Wilsons do not foresee any need for Franchise Business Model  as they want to have better control on how the Brand develop & how the company operates. They are keen to joint venture with partners in other countries. 

New Brands & Products - The company is keen to branch out into other products such as : lasagnas, open pies (taco style), spicy fish, baguette, croissants, brioche to add on to the company's comfort food category as well as develop sauces, side dishes for distribution through wholesale & retail outlets. 

Expansion Plans Currently the company has 3 retails outlets located in : Serangoon Gardens, Circular Road, North Bridge Road (moving to China Square Central before Chinese New Year 2014) and aims to open total 6 outlets. The Company had invitations to expand into Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Southern India. 

Besides the Retail arm, The Gourmet Pie Company has a Wholesale arm forming 50% of Company's core business that sell in to schools, cafes, restaurants. On top of this the company works closely with Social Charities such as the Willing Hearts to give back to the community - thereby providing positive publicity for the company. The Wilsons desire to grow their wholesale business at a pace that allows for sustainable growth, eventually in time to come to grow distribution into major retail chain convenience stores. 

Menu planning - done at HQ by Chef Jane, with contributions by Outlet Managers. While Chef Jane heads Product Quality, Chef Jimmy oversees Factory Operations. Chef Jimmy brings with him wealth of knowledge of the Singapore market, having worked in renowned F&B establishments in Singapore in the past 20 years. Chef Jimmy work closely with Chef Jane to develop new products. 

Menu changes & expansion - done regularly, with 2 new Savory Selection flavors added yearly. Currently the Company is also expanding the Sweet Selection. To date, Current Menu boasts of:
  • 16 pies, 2 rolls, 4 quiches totaling 22 Savory Selection, 
  • Sides Selection of : 3 salads, mashed potatoes, mushy gravy
  • 4 Sweet Selection : cherry pie, pecan pie, lemon meringue, apple pie
These come in 3 sizes : Canape, Snack, Hearty.
The pies are priced in two categories : Classic Range & Premium Range. 

Menu Items - Currently there are 22 Savory Selections on the menu :
  • 16 Pies (3 types of Chicken Pies, 7 types of Beef Pies, 2 types of Lamb Pies, 2 types of Pork Pies, 1 Seafood Pie, 1 Vegetarian Pie) that comes in Canape, Snack & Hearty sizes.
  • 4 Quiches (Spinach & Cheese Quiche, Mushroom Quiche, Salmon Quiche, Lorraine Quiche) that comes in Hearty size only.
  • 2 Rolls (Spinach & Cheese roll, sausage roll) that comes in Canape & Snack sizes only.
4 Sweet Selections in Canape & Snack sizes only:
  • Apple Pie
  • Cherry Pie
  • Pecan Pie 
  • Lemon Meringues, 
  • S'Mores Pie

5 Other Goodies in Snack size only: 
  • Traditional Brownie 
  • Chocolate Fudge Brownie
  • Cupcake
  • Lamington Cakes
  • Apple Turnover  
Kitchen Staff  - Total there are 25 staff at The Gourmet Pie Company, including Permanent & Part-Time Hire, mostly Singaporeans, PR, Malaysians. There are about 2-3 staff stationed in each outlet, and 4-5 staff at factory's Central Kitchen to prepare the pies & fillings. The 4 Central Kitchen staff are trained on the job by Chef Jane Wilson as well as through her Pastry Master Classes.

Executive Chef - The company has an Executive Chef Jimmy who joined in Dec 2013. Chef Jimmy is well versed in Western Cuisine and handles factory operations, and puts in regular visits to the outlets to audit on quality.

Central Kitchen at the Factory - started operations in 2014, is located in Sembawang Area, at Admiralty Street, Food Exchange Building, occupies a two level 3000 square ft space, equipped with Hot Kitchen & Clean Room, Temperature-Controlled Rooms, Multi-purpose Rooms to keep the pastries. 

The Central Kitchen is the place to prepare the raw ingredients, seafood, dried food, fresh meat products, the fillings as well as manufacture the pastries from scratch. The vegetables are usually prepared at the vendors' kitchen, where they are cut to size, then delivered to the Central Kitchen.  

Central Kitchen uses meat from Angliss : New Zealand fresh chilled lamb, Australian fresh chilled beef, fresh chilled pork. Beef deboned & diced, marinated, cooked, then chilled ready for use to fill up pies. Central Kitchen uses pure unsalted NZ butter, do not use margarine.  Some of the ingredients used are in frozen form such as the frozen peas, with occasional meats sometimes in frozen form when vendor ran out of fresh meat. 

Central Kitchen prepares different types of fillings every other day.  Meat & vegetables  are hand cut & chopped to maintain consistency. 

The Central Kitchen does marination of the pie fillings in a 3 stage process. To prepare the pie filling, the meat has to be marinated 24 over hours, meat such as the braised pork has to be slow roast for 24 hours in high Cast Iron Pots (30 cm in perimeter). The Company believes strongly in adherence to good old traditional recipes to ensure authentic taste and flavor, and do not take short cuts. The traditional filling is made over 3 hours, slow cooked in cast iron pots & then slow roast on gas oven. The meat is slow roasted & then rested overnight, & used to fill the pies the next day. 

Filling for pies usually taste better after it is rested for 24 hours, to bring out the flavors, the herbs & spices come out better after a day's resting. Typically the fillings are made in batches of single flavor e.g. chicken, then beef, then chili crab, and the kitchen try not to cross mix the flavors. The pastry dough for the pies are made daily & used daily. 

Core Food Ingredients - Food Ingredients such as local sauces, spices are generally 100% sourced from local vendors & major wholesalers. The Company prefers to use high quality ingredients & gets fresh chilled beef from Australia & lamb from New Zealand which has to be air-flown in, whilst the seafood & fresh chilled poultry are from local market or from Thailand. 

Ala Minute Baking - The filling is cooked but pastry is not cooked. Central Kitchen made the pies, snap freeze them to ensure the pastry is firmed up, then sent the frozen pies to the 3 outlets, where the pies are baked ala minute upon order by the patrons. 

Currently the pastry crust are baked at outlet level and takes 10-15 minutes to cook. The Company plans to roll out a new technology high speed convention modern oven installed at the outlets to ensure pies baked in less than 2 minutes. 

Mission Statement  - "Our company strives to be acknowledged as a purveyor of quality foods in the market and succeed in nourishing and delighting our customers with innovative offerings based on traditional values in using high quality produce, together with exceptional customer experience.  We support these goals with a corporate philosophy of adhering to the highest ethical conduct in all our business dealings, treatment of our employees and social and environmental policies."

Company Slogan - "So Good, So Yum, So Pie !"
This Slogan simply embraces what the Company stand for : highest quality products, freshest ingredients,  made locally, 24 hours turnaround for wholesale customers.

The Gourmet Pie Company stands out from others - in that the company does not use margarine additives. The pastry used here is 100% butter and no hard oil. All pies are made from fresh produce. There is an abundance of meat & gravy fillings in every single pie. These pies are high pie, made of quality, chunky  ingredients & using recipes handed down from 3 generations, yet tailored to the local palate, with recipes learnt since Chef Jane was a small child. Hence these recipes come with lots of tradition, good memories, love  - that the company wants to share with their customers. There are secret ingredients added to these pies that cannot be disclosed to anyone. 

Ordering - During lunch peak rush hours at the cafe outlet, the diners placed their order at the cashier counter POS system that is also electronically centrally Linked & managed by the Central Kitchen so inventory system is updated in real time. The diners then sit at their table & wait for food to be served. During off peak hour, the cafe staff offer table service. 

For takeaway orders customers can fax, email their orders which is linked to The Gourmet Pie Company's Loyalty Program that entitles a 5% discount for larger Corporate & Retail customers. 

In time to come the company will launch an app developed by POS vendor where customers can pre-order in advance for takeaway or dine-in which will speed up the turnaround time. Currently for takeaway orders, customers can order using The Gourmet Pie Company's website Online Order form. 





Payment - to be made after the patrons finished their meal using any of these : Cash , NETS, VISA, MasterCard, AMEX.

Catering - Patrons can call factory (preferred) or any of the 3 outlets for large orders. For Orders you can download the Order Form 
http://thegourmetpiecompany.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Order_Form_V12_FINAL.pdf
& email the order to : eat@thegourmetpiecompany.com

Booking of cafe for Private events - Made available for that Special Milestone in your life, be it Birthday, Anniversary, Graduation, Hen's Party, Stag Night, 21st Birthday, Engagement, Job Promotion, etc. Also available for Product Launches, Company Group Meetings, etc.

Takeaway Service - Special boxes are made available to ensure the baked pies stay hot & good for 3 hours without sweating. 
For Takeaway Orders you can download the Order Form http://thegourmetpiecompany.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Order_Form_V12_FINAL.pdf
& email the order to : eat@thegourmetpiecompany.com 

Ongoing Promotion - The company has Promotion Deals for Pie Sets available on Order. Simply download the Order Form 
http://thegourmetpiecompany.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Order_Form_V12_FINAL.pdf
& email the order to : eat@thegourmetpiecompany.com 

Merchandise on Sale - Currently the outlets sell The Gourmet Pie Company Aprons, in 6 months' time the company will launch the In-House Condiments for sale.

Target market - the original expectation of the Wilsons was that the expats would form the staples of the 3 outlets. It turned out that the pies were a hit among the locals, especially those who has completed their studies in Australia or the UK. The company has a broad spectrum of pies of all flavors to cater to different age groups and tastebuds, ranging from minced pies for kids and the young & old folks, Spicy pies for adults who love spicy flavors, etc. 

Research & Development Team - Currently headed by Chef Jane Wilson who creates/ invents new pie flavors, with Chef Jimmy who helps to tweak the recipes to cater to the local palate. 

Inspiration - Chef Jane Wilson watches Cooking Shows & reads a wide selection of Culinary & Cookbooks to get inspiration for new recipes. 
Chef Jane aim to have a Pie of The Month flavor. Traditional pies like Steak & Cheese commonly found in Australia. - must have item on the menu. 

Signature Items - Beef Bourguignon (uses Chef Jane's Mum's well kept traditional recipe). 
Vegetable Curry  & Chicken & Mushroom are popular among the patrons in the North Bridge Road outlet (Arab district). 
The Chilli Crab Pie, Beef Bourguignon, Steak & Cheese Pie are popular among the Circular Road  outlet(Clarke Quay). 
Sausage Rolls, Minced Beef Pie, Shepherd's Pie are favorites among those who frequent the my Village@Serangoon Gardens outlet (where more families visit).

Seating Capacity - about 30 pax 

Celebrity Spotting - Team Gana Productions visit the outlets when they were in town.

The Gourmet Pie Company is located at : 
1. myVillage at Serangoon Gardens 
#B1-K2, myVillage, 
1 Maju Ave Serangoon Gardens 
S(556679)
Telephone: +65 6636 9045 
(or Head Office 6570 0094) 
Fax: +65 6491 5968  
Opening Hours: 
Mon to Sun & PH: 10.00am – 10.00pm  

2. NORTH BRIDGE ROAD (Arab District)
776 North Bridge Road, 
Singapore 198744 
Telephone: +65 6298 8896 
(or Head Office 6570 0094) 
Fax: +65 6491 5968  
Opening Hours: 
Mon to Wed: 9.00am – 6.30pm 
Thur to Sat: 9.00am – 8.30pm  
Sun & PH: Close               

3. CIRCULAR ROAD (Clarke Quay Area) 



72 Circular Road,  
Singapore 049426 
Telephone: +65 6557 2734 
(or Head Office 6570 0094) 
Fax: +65 6491 5968  
Opening Hours: 
Mon to Wed: 9.30am – 10.00pm 
Thur to Sat: 9.30am – 11.00pm  
Sun & PH: Close


For Takeaway Orders you can download the form http://thegourmetpiecompany.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Order_Form_V12_FINAL.pdf & email the order to : eat@thegourmetpiecompany.com 



River JOrdan and JOrdan being groovy on the disco floor !

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