A Fylde coast business is hoping to prove it really is the upper crust by winning a county pie competition this weekend.
Grimes of Cleveleys is vying against five other butchers and bakers across the county to pick up the pastry prize in the first ever Lancashire Pork Pie Appreciation Society awards.
Grimes is already in line for a gold award in the overall pie category while other awards include Heys of Burnley for best pastry and for best pork, an award it shares with Higginson’s of Grange. Best jelly category went to Pitts of Earby.
But the top honour will be decided upon by members of the Lancashire Pork Pie Appreciation Society who will taste the pies at the Black Bull in Edgworth on Saturday.
Carl Cardwell of Grimes said everyone at the shop was delighted to be in the final.
Grimes was established in 1895 and was bought by Carl and his business partner Terry Mitchell four years ago.
Carl said: “We kept everything recipe-wise the same. We have already won awards for pies and sausages but we are delighted to have been chosen for this.
“They just phoned up and asked for 12 pork pies out of the blue and they were put into a tasting session.”
The business employs 22 people as they make everything there from scratch. The flour comes from a mill in Driffield and they start with that and a carcass of pork which is boned and prepared in the shop for pies.
Carl added: “I have been a butcher for 30 years so I’d like to think I know how to make a pork pie, but being in the final of a competition like this, not run by the industry but by a group of enthusiasts, is great and it will be right up there with any award we could win.”
He said there were some well known names in the competition who would also be worthy winners.
“Higginsons of Grange is a fabulous business and the others are very strong so I am proud of being chosen as a finalist. We are very proud of our products here, we put our heart and soul into our work. You have to as an independent butcher these days it is the only way to survive on the high street.”
Another contender for the top title is Heys Family Butchers of Lyndhurst Road in Burnley, not too far from Turf Moor Stadium.
Danny Heys said We are better known round here for our sausages , often named after players and people associated with Burnley Football Club, so this is a special honour.
"We only started selling pork pies about five years ago so we are pleased to be considered for an award. We have a secret recipe.
"The competition will also raise money for charity which is great but since the society came about it has been great for smaller businesses across Lancashire to get the support they deserve."
Carl Abbott of LPPAS said: “They are one of only five butchers in Lancashire to be presented with a Gold Award - the society’s highest accolade.
“The society holds monthly meetings at which pies from across Lancashire are rated. Some 30 different pies were sampled in 2017 and these five are our very highest rated.
"Each is a superb pie, expertly crafted to their own secret recipes. They are a world away from bland supermarket versions that most are familiar with."
He said that the awards also support charity with Macmillan Cancer Support their choice for the year and so far they have raised nearly £1,000.
He added: "We hope to increase that total to £1,500 on the night."