By Keiller MacDuff of
A queue of eager punters snaked out the door at one of Canterbury’s most popular pie purveyors on Friday, waiting patiently to snap up one of the 6000 pastry parcels produced each week by a husband and wife duo and their team.
About an hour from Christchurch, well-placed for day trippers, skiers, tourists and tradies alike, the Sheffield Pie Shop and its sister store and bakery in Oxford are on the market.
Owners Loretta and Shane Paterson say it’s time to move on.
“We feel like we’ve done what we set out to do.”
The couple, who have known each other since their time at Darfield High School, have spent two decades running one of Canterbury’s most significant lunch joints, which saw a combined revenue in the last financial year of close to $5 million.
The Sheffield bakery dates back to the mid-1970s, located in a modest house on a back road and known to supply pies to locals through a window, before moving to its current site in the Sheffield Post Office building.
Loretta Paterson was part of a generation of Sheffield School alumni who grew up eating the pies, and worked at the then-Canterbury Caterers part-time while at high school, while her husband fondly remembers getting a Sheffield pie as a treat post-rugby match “after a few jugs”.
The pair gained their qualifications as bakers before embarking on their OE, where they got a taste of working together in pubs and restaurants across the UK.
Paterson and her mother bought the bakery in 2002, inviting Shane to come on board.
At first, they stuck with catering and wholesale, supplying “a couple of big customers”, but after being dropped by some of those for