Traditional Eastend fayre; The COVID-19 proof business thriving during the pandemic.

Traditional Eastend fayre; The COVID-19 proof business thriving during the pandemic.

Maureen’s Pie & Mash shop has been a firm fixture of the Eastend since 1969. On a Saturday afternoon, don’t be surprised to see a cue of hungry patrons snaking out the shop door into Chrisp Street Market especially on match-days (the shop is just 2.5 miles from the London Stadium; West Ham United’s home ground). It is a much-loved family business & cornerstone of the area.


The shop remained open right up until the government imposed lockdown on 23rd March. Even the namesake 77-year-old Maureen was there working in the kitchen until restrictions were placed.

Jason & Karen Patterson, the 3rd-generation management had two weeks off at home when they decided to put the feelers out.


They attempted contacting the local council, but couldn’t reach anyone of note. The shop is small, but almost every member of staff are related, so social distancing wasn’t a major concern.

Almost every member of the dozen-strong team are either siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews or in-laws. They hit up their 10,000-strong Facebook audience to see if anyone would be interested in a take away only service from the back door. The day before reopening, Jason, whom runs back-of-house headed into the kitchen to prep.

On his way home, he called wife Karen who told him the phones had been ringing off the hook with orders. He immediately turned the car around & headed back to the kitchen for additional prep and good job he did!

That first Friday of opening, there was a cue around the block.


They baked & sold 1,000 pies.


That was five weeks ago & the small family business has gone from strength to strength. The shop opens to the public three days per week (Wednesday, Friday & Saturday) for take away orders & are averaging 9,000-10,000 pies weekly.


Their ovens hold up to 32 pies at a time, which take just 8 minutes to cook & still they cannot fill the orders fast enough. Last week saw them break their own record making & selling 1,800 pies in a single day.

Jason is in the kitchen from between 2-4am every day not getting home until 7-8pm in the evening. They are working harder than they ever have. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. On top of the impressive pie sales, last week they also got through one metric tonne of potatoes.


Their fledgling home delivery service has also picked up immensely since lockdown.


What started out as an average 60 deliveries in two cars quickly grew. They currently operate four cars delivering on average 500 hot orders weekly. Deliveries go deep into the home counties of Kent, Essex, Surrey, Sussex & Suffolk with each car covering on average 700-miles per week, but they are adamant they won’t forget their loyal locals with specific local delivery routes bolted on as often as possible.


Pensioner Richard Stone calls them “The forth emergency service”.

Such is demand, polystyrene “courier boxes” are also available for customers farther afield. The airtight boxes contain your cooked & cooled food order & reheating instructions, as well as gel ice-packs that can keep the food cool for up to 72 hours. Orders have gone as far as Scotland.



What was once a 30-seat restaurant has become the hub for their home delivery arm. Even as this journalist arrived at the crack of dawn, a wholesale order of 300 pies was being prepared & picked up for resale at a fish stall in the small village of Orsett, Essex.


As the back door flung open for take-away orders, one of the first in the cue were a pair of construction workers whom ordered a whole tray of 32 pies for their coworkers.



They are keen to give back, too. Theirs is a cash business. A fair majority of customers donate their change to the shop’s NHS fund, which has raised over £700 for our much-loved health service. The management’s daughter-in-law is an A&E nurse at Basildon Hospital. Every few weeks, they will drop by with a box of pie & mash for the staff.





Throughout lockdown, all staff have been paid in full, all bills & commitments covered with just one member of staff furloughed; the namesake owner Maureen herself as a precaution due to her advanced age…

And she wasn’t very happy about it!

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