Category Archives: News

Happy 5th Birthday – to us!!

Yes, 1st May 2014, some 5 years ago, saw us enter the market for Expat comfort food in Jakarta and its surrounding areas, initially with a small range of just 5 very traditional and mostly English pies.

Since then our range of pies has been expanded to 18 flavours, from our roots in those traditional meat pies to our popular Asian fusion pies, on to those steady sellers our 5 fruit pie flavours and thence to our delicious Ready to Microwave raviolis. The recent addition of a small range of bacon and sausage products from Porkies Bali has served to increase our coverage of the comfort foods most prized by expatriates and we expect to finally round out our range this year with sausage rolls, curry puffs and home-made chips (crisps.) Watch this space!

We look forward to continue serving our customers by offering our range of quality products at very fair prices. Thank you to all of our customers for their support over the last 5 years, we look forward to continuing to serve you over the next 5 years – and longer.

Best regards from Santi and the (very small) team at Santi’s Premium Pies!!

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Happy 4th Birthday to us!!

Yes, it is our 4th Birthday today after four years of what can only be described as fun!

I have met so many good people, developed the pie and pasta products, delivered more than 2,000 orders, skilled up my staff, become a total expert in the Gojek App and berated my husband for getting invoices wrong occasionally – who could ask for more?!

There have of course been downsides, including badly behaved puff pastry, a 4kg batch of steak and kidney being left out overnight and having to be thrown away and, last but not least, the decimation of our customer base by the downturn in oil and metals prices two years or so ago.

One thing where we are pleased to say there has been NO downside is bad debts, with every one of those order being settled, the great majority on time and this despite most of them being on “transfer after delivery” terms.

So, thank you so much to all who have supported us over those four years, we hope to continue to serve you into the future.

Kind regards, Santi xxx

PS pies always go best with a little gravy!!

Beach bound …..

summerYep, Pie family vacation time coming up with last orders on 28th June for delivery on or before 1st July – and normal service resuming on the 24th July.

Might therefore very well be time to stock up if you are running short. You can order by sending us an e-mail or filling in the web order form here.

For those of you without a summer break this year, commiserations, for those headed to beach or mountain, enjoy, you deserve it!!

 

 

Happy birthday to us!!

I am 2Yes, we baked our first pie on this day just two years ago and, to wheel out that well-worn cliché once again, it feels just like yesterday!

We have had lots of things to overcome over that time, not least around getting our delivery system reliable, and the team has with hard work and inspiration consistently overcome all those problems and developed the products to what are now, we and many of our customers believe, the best pies in Jakarta.

So thanks to Anis and Uus in the kitchen, Pak Iwan on his motor, my lovely husband on his computer and most importantly, the support of you, the customer, for bringing Santi’s Premium Pies to where it is today.

Onwards to our 25,000th pie!!

Santi xxx

Shrinking supply, and demand continuing to burgeon

With more than half our pies by sales volume containing the stuff, beef prices are pretty important to us. Prices of the product in rupiah have risen inexorably since we opened our doors for business back in April 2014 and casused us to raise our own pie prices back in March this year when we undertook to hold them firm through to the end of 2015.

It is with some interest therefore that we follow the blog of Indonesia’s resident expert on all things cattle and beef, Dr. Ross Ainsworth and we are not encouraged by his prognosis for the future of prices, a future where he sees shrinking supply, and demand continuing to burgeon – with inevitable consequences for market prices in US Dollars – and even less for the Indonesian market where the decline of the Rupiah has become a sad fact of life.

What does all that mean for the eater of Santi’s Premium Pies? – one thing for certain is that the price of the pies will be going in only one direction and that is upwards. We will keep the increase as modest as we can and only from the 1st January 2016 – but we are a little too small to resist global market forces!!

Pulang kampung

pulang kampungThe Pie family will shortly “pulang kampung” to the UK for the first time in five years, with “last orders” being accepted up to and including Monday 5th July, and last deliveries on Tuesday 7th July.

After that deliveries will only resume on Friday 31st July, though with all our fruit pies either sold or given out as “customer appreciation” our stocks of these are now exhausted and will only be available the following week.

The apple pie in particular has been a storming success with you since its introduction in April with its glorious texture and taste, not least that of the cinnamon, much-loved by many 🙂

While the pie has its origins in the Neolithic period some 12,000 years ago there is no doubting the part that the UK in the Middle Ages played in its development to the form we see today. We will therefore be paying especial attention to the pie scene when we are there – and looking for inspiration for new products for your delectation!

Little time for reflection on the past year as we head off, other than to say is has been a lot of fun meeting so many new people, expatriate and Indonesian – and that it has been a great pleasure serving you all!!

Hope you have a great holiday too!! ….. Santi xxx

A customer’s tale

feedbackCustomer feedback has been our principal guide from the start of business and the source of inspiration for what can be seen in our range today compared with the simple meat and chicken pies we offered at the beginning.

Yep, firmer crusts, the Hot to Trot trio of chicken and beef curry and rendang pies, cool bags and better vacuum packing, same or next day delivery to anywhere, and the recent entry of fruit, Guinness and Aussie meat pies – all driven by customer demand, and not by sitting in a darkened room thinking about what to offer next!!

We make a point to ask for feedback from every new customer 2 weeks after their first order …. and regular customers every three months or so. And that is just via e-mail, we also regularly meet many of our customers and ask face to face their opinions on all aspects of our pies, from taste to ordering to billing and delivery – feedback face to face is generally lengthy and vigorous!

The world we live in gets ever more frantic, with our bosses demanding ever more – and leisure distractions multiplying by the day. It is little surprise to us therefore that our inbox seldom bulges with feedback from e-mail requests, but it happens often enough to be vital in understanding where we are with our customers. However, we seldom get the kind of comprehensive feedback we received from one new customer last week, feedback that had us in fits of laughter and tears of joy in turn – and which we reproduce in full and unedited below.

Well it’s just been over a month since my order and all the pies went just over a week ago. So that’s an excellent recommendation. All the meat pies tasted very good. Defrosting them and then heating them up in our oven gave the best results, and the pastry was more crispy. Sometimes however we just couldn’t wait, so we defrosted them in the microwave and then cooked them in the microwave, the results were also very good.

We enjoyed the Aussie meat pie the best, the steak pie was a good second, both enjoyed by me, my Indonesian wife and my boy 19 and daughter 15 – my daughter particularly liked the mini pies, due to the serving being in line with her smaller eating habits. The steak and kidney pie was a favourite of mine, but not so for the others in the family, I think having kidney in a pie is an English tradition (where I am originally from) not an Indonesian tradition.

The pies arrived on time, excellent packing and still well frozen. Your delivery man was polite removing his shoes when he came indoors and helped me load the pies into the freezer. I paid him cash on delivery in line with the receipt that he gave me. This was very convenient.

The order came with a plasticised Product Guide in both English and Bahasa Indonesia, which I showed everyone and placed next to the microwave for reference. That was great.

microwave majorproblemMy wife obviously didn’t read it thoroughly (the instructions are clear enough) and put a pie in the microwave with the aluminium tray still on. I immediately stopped her, I thought she knew about this?. I then joked with my daughter that mammy just tried to burn the place down by putting a pie in the microwave with the aluminium tray still on. We laughed about this. Two weeks later on a Saturday I heard my daughter put on the microwave and then smelled a pie cooking. Then I smelled burning.

Unbelievable that she put a mini meat pie in the microwave also with the aluminium tray still on. Like mother like daughter. The kitchen was full of smoke and the microwave red hot. On opening the microwave door, a lot of smoke came out, this caused the smoke alarm to go off, which is linked to the apartment fire alarm system, bells started ringing and then 2 minutes later the Security staff (doing a good job) knocking on our door finding out what was happening. Some action for a quiet Saturday.

The pie was like a piece of charcoal, so got thrown away. I supervised the next one. Our microwave is made of STRONG stuff, after 16 years of use it still works great, good recommendation to the maker SHARP. We have had instances of a metal spoon being left inside – the plastic handle melted and some odd bits of foil that sometimes manages to get left on some food which sparks. Sometimes we get ready made macaroni or pasta, these seem to have a plastic wrapped base, with possible aluminium inside?, covered by the plastic, these seem to microwave OK by my wife, but I always take them off just in case, I think this is what confused her.

On the fruit pies, the apple pies were delicious, really good with vanilla ice cream as per your recommendation, but I would have preferred a thinner pastry. I have bought apple pies from other stores too and the pastry also seems to me to be too thick. From some establishment it is much too thick. The same thickness pastry seems to work well for the meat pies, but as mentioned above not so well for the apple pie. No one would own up to eating the cherry pie – it wasn’t me – so I can’t give you any feedback on that. LOL.

I would also like you to look at if possible to a bigger sized, dinner plate apple pie, that way it can be cut into several slices. This would have to be thawed out and then cut up, can be eaten cold. When I was a kid my mother in England used to make them, especially in the summer, there was a lot of big apple trees adjoining our back garden which was large, and on windy days when the apples were ripe they used to fall into our garden and I collected them. We called them “wind-falls” not stealing. Hahaha.

Many, many thanks to the author, and everybody else who has contributed to our learning.

We listen, we learn, we change and improve and move forward.

Santi xxx

A bachelor’s salvation?

As we constantly advise, the way to get one of our pies onto your plate in prime condition is to heat it from defrosted for 20-25 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 180 celcius. Yep, you can do them in 12 minutes from frozen in a microwave to give you a hearty meal in a hurry, but the product is stodgy and not really what they are designed for.

For all those bachelors, and others, stuck in small apartments or even those in houses without an oven, and condemned to use a microwave, we have great news, there is help at hand!

Over the last couple of months we have had a succession of customers lauding something called an “Air Fryer” and eventually we decided to acquire one – and I have to say that we have been well impressed!

Phillips air fryer
Phillips air fryer

Oxone air fryer

Lazada has several different makes and the model we bought was an Oxone Professional Air Fryer Oxone OX-277  coming in at 1.7 million rupiah, rather cheaper than the Phillips HD9220 at 3.2 million and, while both come with a 2 year guarantee one imagines the Phillips guarantee to be worth rather more than a no-name brand like Oxone.

We chose the Oxone on the very sensible ground that it looks really cool!!

Not a lot more required beyond plugging the thing in before we were up and running with our first test, my husband’s favourite, a Beef Curry pie! From defrosted the Air Fryer needed 11-12 minutes – or 20-22 minutes from frozen. And no pre-heating required, just kick the thing off.

His opinion? At least as good as that coming out of the oven and, with a slightly crustier crust resulting, maybe even better!!

OxoneThe things are actually not designed for pies as you can probably guess from the Air Fryer name, but rather for cooking chips, chicken, steak and heaven knows what else in a way that incorporates perhaps only 10% the level of fat into the food itself compared to frying/deep frying. That is the claim anyway and sounds healthy

The Oxone will do up to four pies at a time (heating times increase !!) for those of you with a large and hungry family or visitors to feed. We can heartily recommend it as a pie warmer anyway; we have yet to try out its other talents.

We have an oven in the kitchen at home – but now use the Air Fryer for heating all our pies, there can be no higher recommendation!

Please let us know how you get on should you have one or acquire one.

Santi xxx

Those survey results we promised!

Survey_resultsWe are not so naive as to take these results at face value for a number of reasons – firstly that response to the survey was around only 18% of our regular customer base – and also that people are, by and large, very kind and are reluctant to criticise unless they are really mad!!.

Nevertheless, we are encouraged by the results and where there was criticism and suggestions, and there was, then we have actions already in place to improve in those areas..

Particularly pleasing for us were the results on delivery performance, an area where it was all kept going with bubble gum and string for many months but which is an area that now works well with our own “Rider” and motorbike, and predictable same or next day delivery the new norm.

It has long been clear that our regular customers have their own favourites and we can almost predict the composition of an order by looking at who it is coming from. What is one man’s meat is not everybody else’s, however, as you will see from this graphic of your favourites taken from the same survey!

Survey by pie

So, rather reassuring that two of our original range can be found in first and second place!!

Our customers loyalty to their own favourites is evident from their largely ignoring our regular special offers – unless it happens to be in their own favourite area. Nevertheless we continue with special offers as they invariably also attract new customers anxious to try out a range of our pies at reasonable cost!!

Santi xxx