Anyone who spends any time in Whistler swiftly notices all the Australian accents. Kerri Jones is just one of the numerous Aussies who visited Whistler and then in no way still left.

Jones explained to Daily Hive that she made the decision to go to Whistler in 2009 to practical experience “a Canadian winter season in the mountains.” It was there that she met Alex Relf, a snowboarder who hailed from Victoria.

Though Jones had expected to miss her family and friends, she was shocked to learn how significantly she also missed the Aussie meat pie, which is deemed a legitimate staple foods in her homeland. So Relf, “who cherished developing in the kitchen,” baked one particular for her. In accordance to Jones, “It was enjoy at 1st chunk.”

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Vancity has been supporting individuals in our communities because 1946, like neighborhood restaurateurs. As portion of our Made in Vancouver collection spotlighting regional enterprises, we talked to Vancity member Kerri Jones about the mouth watering meat pies that she and her associate generate and the struggles of functioning dining places during the ongoing global pandemic.

In Whistler in 2013, Jones and Relf opened the to start with Peaked Pies area, to give Aussie expats “a flavor of household.” Jones spelled out, “Peaked Pies was made as a position for those people who appreciate Aussie meat pies and warm consolation foods to be equipped to arrive and dine, to reminisce about their childhood or their excursion to Australia, or just to be introduced to a new idea.”

The eatery grew to become so preferred that the few opened a second place, in Vancouver’s West Conclusion in 2016. That was adopted by a 3rd place, in Burnaby Heights in June 2020.

So what, precisely, is this attractive ease and comfort foodstuff, beloved by Aussies and New Zealanders alike? It’s a smaller pie which is normally crammed with diced or minced meat and gravy and ordinarily eaten as a solitary-serving takeaway dish.

Jones explained to us that the most preferred item on their menu is the Classic Aussie: “Ground beef, onions and gravy in an all-butter crust. It’s what us Australians grew up on, so it brings again a lot of amazing recollections to every person who has 1.”

Other favourites include things like Steak and Mushroom, Rooster, Mushroom and Leek, Steak, and Bacon and Cheese. Common with vegans is the Vegetable Medley, with its yams, leeks, corn, cauliflower and celery in a coconut milk sauce. The finest way to order any just one of these pies is topped with the “signature Peaked option of creamy mashed potato, mushy eco-friendly peas and gravy.”

Whilst the pies are get-and-go, there is very little rushed about the planning that goes into each one. Jones described the approach: “Our pies acquire two days to make. We make the dough working with grass-fed butter, and our pie fillings are like giant stews which are designed and remaining to marinate right away. The next day, our crew hand-press just about every unique pie shell, fill them and top them with a puff pastry lid, continually baking through the day.” The pies are handmade working with only the greatest components: “AA Alberta steak, cost-free-run rooster from the Fraser Valley and fresh new greens.”

Every single meat pie can be eaten in the cafe, or purchased to go—hot and completely ready to eat—or procured frozen for reheating afterwards. When eating in, be certain to accompany your meat pie with an Australian-model espresso or a single of the regional craft beers on tap.

In addition to meat pies, sweet treats are also on the menu. Jones explained, “Have a sweet tooth? We can hook you up with a person of our handmade desserts, these types of as the Apple Crumble pie or an Australian Lamington: a square of vanilla sponge cake, dipped in chocolate then rolled in coconut.”

As is the case with so many dining establishments, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a large obstacle. Jones described it as “the continual disruption to how you would typically function a organization.” She claimed, “It first begun with the fall in profits by up to 80%, instantly, with anyone explained to to remain home. The costs such as rent, utilities and loan repayments all experienced to be compensated in comprehensive.”

She continued, “Then came the two-7 days isolation for any staff members demonstrating COVID signs. In the commencing, when screening was not occurring, our employees would contact that morning with a runny nose or sore throat, and they would have to keep residence for two weeks. We experienced to near our Whistler shop only owing to workers in isolation.”

And the pandemic-associated struggles did not close there. Jones explained, “Then came the cafe limitations, which appeared to be changing just about every number of weeks in the beginning, and lastly we were instructed zero dine-in through this most new lockdown. It’s been these a rollercoaster of thoughts, considering that you just can’t definitely make a approach.”

Jones stated that restaurants run on this kind of restricted margins that most just cannot survive on takeaway foods only, and Peaked Pies is no exception: “In order for us to be thriving, we need full accessibility to our dining rooms and men and women to be out and about, seeking to socialize.” She extra, “The toll on all of our psychological wellbeing has been too much to handle.”

Even with all of these ongoing challenges, Jones and Relf are soldiering on, established to proceed sharing their tasty creations with Australians yearning for a flavor of property, British Columbians eager to try a little something new, and everyone else who could use a dose of consolation food correct about now.

Peaked Pies is energetic on social media, so use @peakedpies and #peakedpies to tag them in posts. Jones and Relf love hearing from fellow followers of the Aussie meat pie and collecting tips for new flavours.

When asked why everyone must contemplate striving Peaked Pies, Jones responded enthusiastically: “There actually is nothing at all like Peaked Pies in BC, even Canada. We are a pie-lover’s heaven! As soon as persons test our pies for the very first time, they get hooked.”

She added, “The total premise behind Peaked Pies is mainly because we enjoy taking in them, and hope you love them just as significantly as we do. Eating a Peaked Pie is like acquiring a big heat hug!”

And who couldn’t use a massive warm hug correct now?