We began the Feature Friday post some time ago now but it’s been a bit….inconsistent….so far! We’ve changed Feature Fridays to Chatty Tuesdays instead, mainly because it sound like much more FUN!!! And we’ll hopefully be bringing them weekly from now on!
So what’s Chatty Tuesday about? Each Tuesday we’ll chat to someone amazing, just a short chat, with someone interesting about their life, their work and how they fit into the HK community!
Today’s Chatty Tuesday is actually a chat from over a year ago so maybe there’s an update to be had in here somewhere! Anyway, it’s coming up to ‘that time of the year’ pumpkin spiced latte’s are on people’s minds, Thanksgiving and stockings hung at the end of beds – no it’s not Santa, but pretty close – it’s RJ Asher, aka The Ultimate Pie Guy, Founder of Tai Tai Pie Pies!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a home taught baker from my mother and grandmother. I have always enjoyed baking Pies and came to Hong Kong in 2007 as an Expat and at the end of 2009 left the corporate world. I grew up in the Midwest of the United States but spent most of my life on the East coast in New Jersey/New York. I am married to an amazing lady and we have 2 twin Yorkshire Terriers. We now live out in Sai Kung.
2. How long have you been in Hong Kong and what do you do?
I have been in Hong Kong for almost 10 years now. I came here as the Head of Human Resources for Avon in Asia Pacific. Now I am The Ultimate Pie Guy and own Tai Tai Pie Pies.
3. When did you discover your passion/talent for pie making?
I have always loved pies and began baking when I was young. I never really did much baking, only to help my Mother and Grandmother, but later in life I baked for my wife and our friends. I am a traditionalist and make a pie the old fashioned way and the proper way. I do not cut corners and use the best of what I can get to make them.
4. What do you love most about what you do?
For the Love of Pies, the pies themselves. Sweet, Savory, Quiche or anything pies. Love that fact that you have fresh ingredients and amazing flavors in something that is all about HOME. Pies bring back memories for so many people. The smells, the tastes the look of them. It is all so important. They are not always beautiful, but when you eat an homemade pie that is all it takes.
5. What/who inspires you to do what you do?
My mother and grandmother taught me, my wife supported me and my friends pushed me. Inspiration comes from inside. I inspire myself to always do better and to make people happy. But if it was not for my Mother, Grandmother or Wife, there would be no Pie Life for me.
6. What’s your favourite part of your pie making journey so far?
The customers enjoying them. Being able to bring something from their past to their taste buds of today.
7. What’s been the most challenging part to date?
Every day is a challenge running your own small business especially in a country that is not your own. Learning new ways of doing business, new challenges in tastes and the struggles to make it all work. But in the end, the joy of seeing it come true makes the challenges seem small.
8. What does a regular day look like for you?
There is no real regular day, but, mostly I am up and in the Bakery first. Then I have meetings, deliveries or seeing our Sales Ladies at our Pie Counter in Great. I am not baking really anymore as the team is strong, but I am still creating new flavors of pies and my Head Chef has really learned the Pie Life and he executes them after we discuss what it should be. I am now trying to launch our Frozen Packaged Pies for Groceries and hopefully export one day, so that is a lot of the time now.
Just to add – since this chat Tai Tai Pie Pies have now successfully launched their Frozen Packaged Pie line which is available at City Super! <3
Have a FUNderful week all!
Next week will be an awesome chat with a very cool Hong Kong theatre company – don’t miss it!