Proper pie

Janet Workman loves the fact that she can enjoy authentic English cuisine in Haines City.

The Proper Pie Co. is open for business and offering everything from banger rolls to fish and chips along with proper English teas and hard-to-find English items. The restaurant recently moved to a new location and Owner Mark Edwards couldn’t be happier.

“We are 30 percent larger now and our to-go business has quadrupled,” he said.  “Now we are next to Publix and it made sense to move.” 

Edwards closed his previous location on U.S. Highway 27 where visibility wasn’t the best.

“We needed a proper identity and new equipment,” he explained.

He signed the lease for the new space one year ago and began working on construction. Edwards said he gets lots of complements on his décor – everything quintessential Britain with murals of the London Underground to a red English telephone booth.

The Proper Pie’s special recipes are inherited from the original owner.

“One shouldn’t mess with something that works,” he said.

The pies are in a light, flaky, double puff pastry with many fillings such as lemon chicken, shepherd’s pie, steak and kidney, barbecue pulled pork, cheese, potato and onion, chicken curry and steak, potato and ale to name a few. They also have mini fruit pies filled with apples, cherries or blueberries.

“Our pies are made by hand and packed full in the middle with fresh ingredients,” Edwards said.

 Sizes range from 6 oz to 12 oz and the team comes in on Sundays to restock and cook up more for the next week. And of course, what would an English restaurant be without the traditional fish and chips – Proper Pie’s most popular dish.

Restaurant Guru honored Proper Pie with the Best Seafood award in 2021. And they have been named to the Davenport Business Hall of Fame for several years in a row.

In Workman’s opinion, the pies are “out of this world.” She likes the large portions and reasonable prices. Edwards said they have a loyal customer base adding that there are many residents and visitors in Polk County that are from England.

Proper Pie has plenty of treats such as Eccles cake and scones with their own homemade shortbread. They made 240 scones and they were gone in two days.

“We make everything ourselves and ship in the food we need,” Edwards said. Proper Pie also has a small grocery area with imported English teas, chocolates, shortbreads, drinks and some items that may not be readily available in the U.S.

“We get lots of requests,” he said.

 Some of the items he carries are Cadbury’s chocolates, Walker’s Crisps, Aunt Bessie’s, Weetabix, Alpen and others.

The Proper Pie Co. was founded in 2008 and Edwards bought the business in 2017 but said not very many people knew about it. They would set up to sell items at different farmers markets, but the business needed a change. Edwards didn’t have experience in the restaurant business. He retired from the banking industry in the UK and would take holidays in Florida. He has lived in this area for about eight years with his wife and three children.

With business now booming, he may increase the hours of the restaurant and possibly expand in the future.

“This is a huge opportunity,” he said with a smile. So, if you are looking for a proper British experience in Polk County, you know where to go.

The Proper Pie Co. is located in the Publix shopping center, known as Haines City Mall, at 511 U.S. Highway 17-92 W. in Haines City. It is currently open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

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