|Headquarters||Grangetown, Cardiff, Wales|
|Key people||Dennis, Beverly and Amanda Clark|
A printed paper bag from the 1930s states that the business was established in 1909. A shop opened on Llanmaes Street in Roath, Cardiff in 1913. Developed by Mary Clark, a second shop opened on Cowbridge Road East in nearby Canton in the 1930s. During World War II the first shop was closed due to wartime meat rationing. Mr Dennis Dutch, Mary Clark's grandson, opened the third pie shop and bakery on 10 May 1955 in Bromsgrove Street, Grangetown. In 2005, Dennis celebrated the shop's 50th anniversary.
In the late 1920s, (Harold, Harry) Percy Clark left his mother Mary to branch out on his own, establishing a shop in North Street, Bedminster, Bristol, where he built his own business. The shop passed to Percy's sons, John, Ken and Roger Clark, who have all since retired. Roger's daughter, Dawn Clark, continues the family tradition as a director of the business, which is still in the original premises on North Street.
The older Canton Clarks pie shop has recently been forced to stop using the Clarks brand to sell pies by legal action from the newer (but trademark holding) Grangetown shop, and now sells the same product under the name of Victoria Park Pies, and without the CLARPIE stamp.
The exact recipe of the pie filling is a closely guarded secret containing beef, vegetables and gravy. Unusually for a pie, the pastry is thick enough not to require a foil tray. Each pie has the word "CLARPIE" stamped into the pastry.
Consuming the Pie
Knives and forks are not required; the pastry is thick enough to pick up and eat in the upright position without crumbling or getting soggy. Microwaving the pie will negate these qualities, making the pie pastry soft.
A Clark's Tash - The nickname given to burning the upper lip with the hot filling.
Clark's Pie Quotes
- Frank Hennessy: I can't remember not having a Clark's Pie. As soon as Cardiffians saw the Millennium Stadium they fell in love with it. They didn't realise why. It's like a giant Clark's pie with four cocktail sticks in it.
- Ian Holloway, former Bristol Rovers player/manager, erroneously claims the pie to be a Bristol invention: There's some great things that have come out of Bristol - Clark's pies, a couple of football teams.... not sure about me, though!
- Official website
- Clarks Pies (Bristol) Website
- Secret of Clark's success kept under the pie lid - The Western Mail
- BBC South Wales East Food
- Photo gallery of the Clark's Pies Anniversary