making it Fryers-Style

Fryers-Style Cottage is a family business founded in 1919. Owned by John Fryer and his wife, Julie, the company specialises in hand making tasty, deep-filled pies, which they then sell at farmers’ markets across North Norfolk where they live. Since it was founded, Fryers-Style has continued to change to keep up with modern times, and John and Julie are now looking for their next adventure, as John reveals below. 

“We make it, we bake it, we sell it – always look for the straw boaters!

Our family business has been trading now for over 100 years. I started working at Fryers-Style in my school holidays. I was nine years old, and I began by cleaning the baking tins. Little did I realise I would still be making our unique products 51 years later, at 60 years old!

As in any business, you have to move forward with the times. This has meant massive changes in how we operate. We have moved away from a large bakery and prime high street shops in Norwich, and Julie and I are now based in North Norfolk. 

Julie and I make all our products by hand in our flint cottage. We hold a five star food, health and hygiene rating, awarded by North Norfolk District Council. We specialise in making all sorts of pies, deep filled and packed with flavour. Our pastry is shortcrust, and it is vegetarian, meaning we can use it for both our savoury and sweet pies. 

We make our pies according to the seasons – chicken and asparagus in late spring, turkey and cranberry at Christmas, and our iconic pork pie and Aberdeen Angus steak pies all year around. We always use local meat, in fact all produce, wherever we can. To go in the pies, we make rich gravies from scratch, that ensure the pies are filled with flavour. 

For our fruit pies, Julie grows a lot of the produce herself, and customers love our bursting at the brim apple pies, often complemented by the addition of cherries, blackberries and more. We also make cheezecakes, traditional treacle pie, and more. 

We have fun putting pastry features on top of the pie to symbolise what’s inside – cows, mushrooms, cherries, and so on. It all adds to the fun and shows ours truly are handmade products.

We have spent many years working at events such as Creake Abbey, Holkham Hall, and the Sandringham Estate. But now it is time for change. 

Having worked for over half a century in the business, Julie and I have decided to put this fantastic business up for sale within the next year or so. It is time to move Fryers-Style Cottage onto the next stage of its life, and hopefully the next 100 years. Our products are unique, meaning that whoever takes Fryers-Style on has an advantage over any competitors. 

If you are interested, do come and have a chat with us at the markets or contact us. You can find us at Creake Abbey Farmers Market on the first Saturday of every month and at their Christmas fairs, and at the Sandringham and Holkham Christmas Fairs. Apart from anything else, these events offer a perfect time to fill your freezer for the festive season, with delicious homemade produce from a business born over 100 years ago. 

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