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TMCNet:  100 not out for city's famous pie [South Wales Echo (UK)]

[December 07, 2013]

100 not out for city's famous pie [South Wales Echo (UK)]

(South Wales Echo (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) WHEN it comes to Cardiff's culinary history Brains beer and Clark's Pies are the two names that stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Now family members at the capital's most famous bakery are celebrating 100 years.

Amanda Rosoman and her sister Beverly, both descendants of shop founder Mary Clark, and current managers of the site in Grangetown's Bromsgrove Street, are gearing up for a week-long centenary celebration.

Amanda said: "My dad Dennis is 83 years old now so it's an especially proud moment for him as he's been making pies since the age of 14.

"We're running a few competitions this week, as Friday is the offi-cial anniversary.

"We've got some centenary mugs for sale and we'll be baking centenary pies." She added: "Not much has changed in 100 years.

"The pies used to contain kidney but that stopped fairly early on in our history, otherwise it's always been minced beef and potato.

"The only real change is the fact that we now wrap the pies, and that's down to a change in demand because a lot of our customers take the pies home to cook later." Clark's Pies were first made in Cardiff in 1913 by the founder Janet Maud (Mary) Clark in her shop at 93 Donald Street, Roath.

The pie making took a temporary break during World War I, but soon recommenced in the early 1920s.

In 1928 a shop was opened at 110 Paget Street, Grangetown, and family bakeries also sprung up in Bristol, Swindon, Reading, Newport and Gloucester.

But the Grangetown shop, opened by Dennis Dutch in 1955, is the only one still standing.

Amanda said: "It's quite amazing how the brand has grown over the years. I always say our name is bigger than the business, because people think we're a big manufacturing company, and are shocked when they see the size of the shop.

"It's a bit of a Tardis." Over the years the pies have entered Cardiff folklore and the nickname "Clarksies" is often used to demonstrate the city's "Kairdiff" accent - complete with a long and hard "a".

Amanda added: "There's an elderly woman here who remembers coming to the shop when she was a little girl so our customers have been loyal for generations.

"And the business is in good hands.

"My son Freddie runs the pie and mash shop at the Cardiff Blues while my daughter does the accounts and my other son does our marketing.

"We'll be around for a while yet." For more pictures go to THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT CARDIFF'S FAMOUSLY TASTY PASTRY ? The colloquial nickname given to Clark's Pies are Clarkies / Clarksies.

Welsh folk singer and broadcaster Frank Hennessy once said: "As soon as Cardiffians saw the Millennium Stadium they fell in love with it. They didn't realise why. But I'll tell you - it's like a giant Clark's pie with four cocktail sticks in it." Ian Holloway, former Bristol Rovers player/manager once erroneously claimed:"There's some great things that have come out of Bristol, like Clark's pies." A "Clark's Tash" is the nickname given to burning the upper lip with the hot filling.

"The Hanging Gardens of Grangetown" is the nickname given to burning the lower lip with the hot filling.

Each pie is baked with the word "CLARPIE" branded on the bottom.

Alongside the Clark's Original Pie the company also sells Tikka, Balti and chicken and mushroom pies.

Clark's Pies feature in a special exhibition at the Cardiff Story, Cardiff National Museum.

(c) 2013 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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