AN entrepreneur is challenging Doncaster folk to see who can eat all the pie in record time at his new town centre shop.
Andy Milner, 47, is inviting pastry fans to head to the Yorkshire Pie House in Silver Street to take part in his pie meal eating contest.
The former logistics manager wants to get the word out about the competition and draw attention to his new concept of bringing British fast food to the high street.
He said: “There is a myriad of foods from all over the world available late at night but nowhere that sells traditional British food seems to open until late at night.
“I want to change people’s attitudes so they don’t walk out of a club and go straight for a kebab but they consider having a pie and pea supper instead.”
Inspired by the success of a Wakefield pie-selling enterprise, Andy decided to set up shop in Doncaster where he had spotted a gap in the market as well as a buzzing night-time economy.
“I was made redundant from my job in the construction industry and I spent some time out of work before I came up with this idea. I wanted it to be somewhere with a reasonable footfall and these premises came up in Doncaster.”
A former international level hockey player and coach, Andy admits his new venture has taken some toll on his waistline, confessing that he piled on a stone during the product-testing stage of his enterprise.
He added: “We are offering something brand-new. I don’t think people get us yet but those who have come in are coming back time and time again. We have regular offers on Facebook and Twitter and we just want more people to know what we’re offering.”
Andy thinks his idea is far from pie-in-the-sky thinking and has plans for up to 200 Yorkshire Pie Houses over the next ten years, adding: “Ultimately, I would like to see a Yorkshire Pie House in every town in Yorkshire and beyond. I don’t see any reason why I can’t compete with any brand of takeaway.
“I’m hoping to get up to selling about 2,000 pies a week and then I’ll look to take on more staff. I’ve already taken on three full-time Doncaster workers who were on the dole and I’d look to take on more staff in the future.”
As well as his regular fillings of steak and ale, steak and potatoes, chicken and ham and a veggie option in his £4.99 pie meals with mash or peas, Andy’s also commissioned special fillings, including turkey, stuffing and cranberry in time for the festive season.
Anyone who wants to enter the competition to be crowned a world pie-meal-eating champion has to pay £7 to enter.
The timer will begin once they open the polystyrene box that the meals are served up in and anyone can take part at any time that the shop is open, including up to 4am on Friday and Saturday nights.
The top-20 entrants from a leader board, which he plans to pin up on the wall at 17 Silver Street, will go through to a semi-final.
Any profits made from the contest will be donated to children’s charity, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
For more information on the Yorkshire Pie House, visit www.yorkshirepie.com or call 01302 364507.