Okay, so Melton Mowbray is probably considered by most to be the pork pie capital of Britain, but Yorkshire is also a great place to find a premium pie.
As much as I love a Melton Mowbray pie (and I really do), I defy anyone to find a better pork pie than those from Appleton’s, family-run pork butcher and pie maker since 1867, in my home town of Ripon, North Yorkshire.
Up to visit my parents for the weekend and on our way to the Dales, we stopped off at Appleton’s to grab a pork pie for our lunch.
Located on the market square, Appleton’s has been making and selling their delicious pies to loyal customers from Ripon and surrounding areas for generations. Handmade using the original (secret) recipe, the pies are freshly baked every day.
Established by the Appleton family in 1867, the shop was taken over in the 1920s by the Gaunt family (who kept the original name). Three generations of the Gaunt family ran Appleton’s until it was taken over in 2007 by Anthony Sterne, who has retained Appleton’s traditional methods and ideals.
Their pork pies have proved so popular that Appleton’s have received requests from customers as far away as Australia and the USA to post them a pork pie.
Craig Denny, ex-pie maker at Appleton’s, told me that on one occasion a customer travelled all the way from Scotland just to buy a large pork pie!
It is worth noting that Appleton’s pork pies have never been entered into any competitions as it was seen to be more important to please the customer rather than a judging panel.
To see just how they make the pies in Appleton’s, check out this BBC video from 2009 here.
Randomly, and also brilliantly, they have been praised for their staff training in dealing with dementia-suffering customers. See ITV news article here from March this year, and article in The Independent here.
How to find
Appleton’s is located at 6 Market Square, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 1BP.
While Ripon may seem a bit out of the way, it really isn’t far from the A1 – worth making a detour on a journey up/down the country.
For more information, the Appleton’s website is here; although not giving much away on the site, there is a contact email address.
With thanks to Craig Denny for his help with researching for this blog post.
For Part 2, please follow this link.