It all starts with a Kiwi, searching for his beloved savory pies in America...
Rob, a New Zealand native, has been in pursuit of the perfect Kiwi-style savory pie ever since he transplanted himself in the United States. He used to travel from state to state, thinking, “this will be the state where I’ll find what I’m looking for!” only to be disappointed by biting into a soggy-bottomed, flavorless pie. After a fruitless search, he decided to take matters into his own hands and create the pie culture he had been longing for — and that’s when Christine stepped in.
Christine, a French-trained pastry chef born and raised in NYC where she honed her skills as a chef and food creative. She was introduced — and fell in love with — the savory pie culture (yes, it’s absolutely a thing!) after spending many years in England.
The stars aligned for these two pie aficionados — and Tip Top was built in Boulder, Colorado. The two created the marketing plan first, and after extensive research they then started producing and selling pies wholesale to cafes and distilleries in Boulder and Denver, all the while looking for the perfect space of their own to build out their own shop. When they stumbled upon a tiny storefront in the diverse and vibrant town of Lafayette, they knew it was the perfect spot for Tip Top.
The shop opened in January 2019, and it has been gangbusters ever since! Recently, demand for Tip Top savory pies has had Rob and Christine increasing their open hours, hiring new folks for counter and back-of-house positions, and expanding to a bigger kitchen space in order to ramp up production. Through this growth, three things are still central to Tip Top’s mission — staying true to traditional pie culture, sourcing quality ingredients, and having a little fun in the midst of it all.
So, what’s this “savory pie culture” all about, anyway?
For those of you have been taught that pie is some combination of fruit and pastry with the occasional pot pie or shepherd’s pie, we respectfully want to let you know that you’ve been missing out. Don’t fret — now that you know, you can remedy it --and we’re here to help.
Savory pies don’t automatically mean “meat” — but all the same, the first meat pie is found in the Neolithic Period, around 9500 BC. The ancient Egyptians were noshing on pies made from oat, wheat, rye, and barley, filled with honey and baked over hot coals — and the Greeks used a flour/water paste that resembled pie pastry, and filled it with meat. The Romans took a cue from the Greeks, using a variety of meats, oysters, mussels, and fish as filling. (Oddly enough, the pastry cover of the Greeks pies was meant to be a cover only — and was thrown away, not eaten!)
Savory pies have been part of New Zealand’s food history since early British settlement. They’re so iconic that they’re just...part of a Kiwi’s typical diet, and they’re very wrapped up in the identities of Kiwis in living in New Zealand and abroad (we see this so much in Colorado — we knew plenty of Kiwis lived in Colorado, but didn’t know exactly how many until we opened the shop!) Savory pies are found just about anywhere food is served in New Zealand — bakeries, cafes, supermarkets, dairies (what Kiwis call convenience stores), and gas stations.
Pies make sense — they’re a meal that fit in the palm of your hand, which makes them the perfect food for any adventure, or wherever your day takes you. We’re committed to bringing savory pie culture to Colorado and beyond. After all, those Kiwis are pretty smart.
Where can I find Tip Top’s pies?
Tip Top’s official storefront is located in Boulder County at 105 North Public Road in Lafayette, Colorado. Currently, we’re open 5 days a week Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
We’re excited to partner with the folks at Denver Distillery and Boulder’s Laughing Goat Coffeehouse to spread the pie love. Not all of our partner locations will have our full slate of pies, so make sure to contact them to see what they have in stock!
244 S. Broadway
Denver, CO 80209
The Laughing Goat
Campus: Norlin Library, University of Colorado
Downtown (Pearl Street): 1709 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302
East Pearl (55th & Pearl Street): 2907 55th Street, Boulder, CO 80301