WHEN butcher Andrew Jones started out the idea of making a million a year was just pie in the sky.
But the Huddersfield butcher has come a long way in the last 20 years – and this year Andrew Jones Pies ’n’ Pasties will churn out at least that many of its award-winning delicacies.
Mr Jones said: “Things have changed a lot.
“When I started there were about 10,000 independent butchers in the country. Now there are some 2,500.
“People’s eating habits change; the Sunday roast isn’t the staple meal it was and people don’t come in at a weekend to buy all their meat for that week.
“We also have a lot more regulations to deal with.
“You learn to evolve and diversify. We do ready meals as well as everything else now. It helps you keep going.”
Mr Jones started in a butcher’s shop on New Hey Road in Marsh in 1988.
At the time he was making between 20 and 30 pies a day, up to 10,000 a year.
He employed an apprentice and one part-time baker.
The company extended its Marsh premises and opened a shop at Bethel Street, Brighouse, as well as a factory at Leeds Road, Huddersfield, where most of the pies are made.
It now employs about 30 staff.
Mr Jones said: “We realised some time ago that if we were to compete in the long term we had to stop thinking small and start looking at the bigger picture.
“We pride ourselves on retaining traditional values, but at the same time we put a lot into developing new, tastier products to match the changing demands of the market.
“We see our pies as high-quality meals in themselves. While they might not be ideal for weight watchers everybody deserves a treat sometimes!”
He added: “Our day starts at 4am and often goes on to 6pm or 7pm, six days a week. It’s not surprising there are fewer and fewer traditional pie makers around; but I wouldn’t swap.”