At their new storefront in Lafayette, Christine Carr and Robert Morrow want to bring a slice of New Zealand culture to America in the form of hand-held meat pies, perfectly sized for mountain snacking.
For the past two years, Tip Top Savory Pies has been supplying Boulder coffee shops and one Denver distillery, but over the weekend, its first dedicated pie shop opened in downtown Lafayette, gathering lines out the door and selling out by 2 o’clock. The 750-square-foot space will serve as an introduction for Colorado outdoorsy types to New Zealand “pie culture,” according to its owners.
“In New Zealand, there’s a pie shop on every corner,” Carr said. “It’s like the perfect, portable meal.” A French-trained chef, she makes all of Tip Top’s pie crusts and fillings, starting with a butter “rough puff” pastry and finishing with mincemeat, or steak and cheese, or mushrooms and Boulder Beer, or cauliflower tikka masala inside. Morrow, a New Zealand native, is the inspiration behind the shop.
“Robert as a boy used to go to the pie shop to catch a ride up the mountain to go skiing and snowboarding,” Carr explained, “because he knew people would be there doing that.”
Carr said pie shops in New Zealand act as community centers, and they come in different shapes and sizes: “You have your gas station pie, your corner shop pie, and then your drive-out-to-the-countryside quaint cafe [pie].” Tip Top most resembles the latter, in Lafayette.
Opening Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only, the shop should be a destination for breakfast or to grab lunch on the way out of town. Inside, there is a tall community table to stand around; coming soon is seating for eight or so pie lovers. And while Carr’s current focus is savory pies, come summer, she envisions adding dessert pies and New Zealand sweets to the mix — mini pavlovas, shortbread ginger crunch, British-style scones. “For now,” she said, “it’s just getting this pie message out.”
Status: Tip Top Savory Pies starting this week will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, at 105 North Public Road, Lafayette. Find a more robust pie selection on weekends, including sausage rolls Saturdays only. Prices range from $4.50 to $8.50; there are currently no gluten-free or vegan options, but stay tuned.