Not being from Cardiff, I had never heard of Clark’s Pies until I moved here and over the years, I have been amazed by the popularity of these pies. They have become a somewhat of a Cardiff institution and the people of Cardiff are very proud of them.
As it’s British Pie Week, I thought it only fitting to include a post on Cardiff’s best loved pie and give you a short history of how Clark’s Pies first began in 1912.
The Clark family
The history of Clark’s Pies can be traced back to the early part of the 20th century.
Mary Clark was the founder of Clark’s Pies and the association with the city of Cardiff began in 1912. Mary, along with her husband Arthur and children moved here and by 1913 had opened the first Clark’s Pie shop at 93 Donald Street in Roath. Unfortunately this was later closed due to meat rationing in the First World War.
It was not until the early 1920’s that Mrs Clark was able to recommence making the pies again. The family which comprised of seven children were then living at 40 Union Street in Cardiff, and it was here that Mary Clark made pies in her kitchen.
The pies were so popular that in 1928 Mrs Clark opened a shop at 110 Paget Street in Grangetown. This success was closely followed by her daughter Winfred and her husband Arthur Dutch opening a shop at 454 Cowbridge Road West in Canton.
During the 1930’s further shops were also opened by Mary’s other children in Swindon, Reading, Newport, Gloucester and Bristol. Unfortunately the shop at 110 Paget Street, Grangetown had to close due to food rationing in the Second World War and did not re-open afterwards.
Winfred and Arthur Dutch had four children, Stuart, Dennis, Joy and Paul who then all carried on the family tradition and became the third generation to continue the business. Dennis, Stuart and Joy worked at 454 Cowbridge Road West after leaving school.
Dennis took this tradition a step further and was the only one of Mary Clark’s grandchildren to open his own shop. This was opened in 1955 in Bromsgrove Street, Grangetown and is situated closely to the previous shop at 110 Paget Street. His younger brother Paul also joined him in this new venture and he left school and came to work for Dennis.
The 1970’s proved a devastating time for the family with the death of Winfred in 1974, Arthur in 1975 and Stuart in 1976. This resulted in Paul leaving his brother Dennis’ business in Grangetown to take over the running of 454 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff.
The 1990’s saw the fourth generation of the family becoming actively involved in the company. Now in the 2000’s, the Clark’s Pies Cardiff bakery and shop is still located at Bromsgrove Street, Grangetown and is run by Dennis’ two daughters Beverley and Amanda. Dennis still plays a part in the running of the business.
A recent photo of Dennis Dutch
Clark’s Pies in Grangetown, Cardiff is now the only Clark’s Pie shop in Cardiff. There are also two Clark’s Pie shops in Bristol. As Clark’s Pies fast approaches its centenary, the fifth generation of the family are also beginning to work within the business.
Clark’s Pies has now become an institution in Cardiff and South Wales and are heralded as Cardiff’s traditional pie.
Tomorrow’s post will include tips from Clark’s Pies on how to make the perfect pie. We will also be running an exclusive competition in association with Clark’s Pies! Please see the website for further information on British Pie Week!