The owners of Pie-Not, a pair of spots that specialize in Australian meat pies, have a few Aussie phrases for Orange County customers to learn: “Sparrow-fart” is very early in the morning, “woop-woop” is far from anything of interest and “coppers,” of course, are police officers.
And there’s a manner of dining etiquette when sampling their filled pies: You eat them with your hands, like a burger, rather than with a fork, like an empanada.
Jai Snowdon, a native of Queensland, and Ryan Lopiccolo, who is from Newport Beach but lived in Australia, own the shops located on 17th Street in Costa Mesa and in Pacific City in Huntington Beach.
The business partners offer single-serving meat pies, flaky pastry with fillings such as Angus beef, chicken breast, ground lamb, sirloin steak and a veggie mix, each for $7.40. Founded in 2013, the two locations churn out 300 to 400 pies a day.
“It’s a real community-type of thing when Pie-Not originated,” Snowdon, 33, said. “People have their favorites, and we have our big group of regulars and locals who chuck a few of these pies into their freezer to save for a later time.”
And now the pies are available for home delivery through AmazonFresh and Postmates.
Inventory that doesn’t sell in the bakery is frozen so customers can place orders for home baking. Pies, pastries, sweets and specialty drinks are delivered throughout Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach and surrounding areas for a $2.99 delivery fee.
Both AmazonFresh and Postmates Pie-Not menu items come directly from the Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach locations, a distribution choice that aligns with the company’s mission of preparing small batches.
“It’s a pretty cool model, and it’s working out well,” Lopiccolo, 35, said.
A new breakfast menu at the Pacific City location in the LOT 579 dining area will include a trio of hot pastries, including a ground beef filling with cheese and bacon, an egg quiche and a scone dough pinwheel filled with cheese, eggs and onion.
The Orange County entrepreneurs said they are exploring further brick-and-mortar locations and the concept of placing pie kiosks on street corners, in airports and in malls.
The concept of selling Australian meat-and-vegetable-mixed pies was new to Orange County, Snowdon and Lopiccolo said, making note of how to properly hold them.
Before they opened shop, Snowdon and Lopiccolo would drive around neighborhoods to see if they could steer with one hand while holding a pie in the other.
“If you can’t eat it with your hands, it’s a bad pie,” Snowdon said with a laugh. “There are so many new concepts here in Orange County, so to say we’ve been here for nearly five years is huge for us. We’re most proud of the quality of the product driven by a great staff. Happy staff, happy food.”
Pie-Not is at 270 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa and at LOT 579, Pacific City, 21010 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach. For more information, call (949) 650-7437 or visit pienot.com.