Pie lover on one man mission

By Amy McGillivray

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Grant Duffield is on a one-man mission to bring back an icon in New Zealand pie-making.

On his days off Whakatane man Grant Duffield, 29, travels New Zealand campaigning and collecting signatures to bring back Georgie Pie.

He took to Devonport Rd with his clipboards, sign and T-shirt yesterday and on Tuesday in an attempt to gather more support.

"It's just that I'm passionate about this. I feel that Georgie Pie should still be here today," he said.

Like many Kiwis he was a fan of the pies and holds fond memories of meals at the chain as a teenager. Unlike most he is determined to do something about it.

McDonald's bought the chain from Progressive Enterprises in 1996 and began to close the restaurants down. The last outlet was shut 14 years ago.

Mr Duffield has driven more than 3000km gathering signatures in the past two months.

He has taken to the streets of Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, Tokoroa, Whakatane, Rotorua, Taupo and Tauranga to collect signatures for his petition.

The pie enthusiast has already handed 6831 signatures to the head office of McDonald's NZ and is now back on the streets collecting signatures for round two.

"It's about getting McDonald's to reinstate it," Mr Duffield said. "They are quite happy for me to continue doing this."

But even if the chain was reopened the pies are unlikely to be the same.

Mr Duffield said the original recipe would not comply with today's standards for fat and salt content.

Tauranga McDonald's franchisee John Warden said he was unsure how the pies would fare with people's palate these days.

"It was an enjoyable experience in its time but whether it's a viable business model now I don't know."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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