Kiwi pie trucker sends out NY SOS

By Amelia Wade

New Zealander, now New York resident Gareth Hughes, is looking to take his Dub Pie Shop on the road with a pie truck

Kiwi rapper David Dallas is one of the Kiwi visitors enjoying the fare at the Dub Pie Shop in New York.
Kiwi rapper David Dallas is one of the Kiwi visitors enjoying the fare at the Dub Pie Shop in New York.

As a steak and mushroom pie man, Gareth Hughes saw a gap in New York's food market and decided to fill it.

Nine years ago, the Kiwi entrepreneur started Dub Pies, a savoury pie and flat white cafe in Brooklyn, and once Americans got over their initial disgust at the meat filling instead of sweet fruit, the business took off.

Mr Hughes is now looking to expand and he's decided a food truck is the way to do it.

But after navigating New York City's strict permit conditions for such a food venture, he's come up short of cash to fund his idea. So he's asking New Zealanders for help.

Mr Hughes needs another $16,870 to reach his $35,601 goal. So far he's had 158 backers.

He needs the money to "wrap" his vehicle to look like a pie truck and to do a complete re-fit inside with specialist equipment including an espresso machine, a gas convection oven and a pie warmer.

Mr Hughes hopes the truck will be a way of expanding his business while avoiding the extravagant rent of New York City.

"Even with the petrol costs, permit costs and the cost of running the truck, it's still a fraction of the brick and mortar rent in New York," Mr Hughes said.

The ex-Aucklander's also getting some help from some rather well-known Kiwi expats.

Actress Melanie Lynskey of Two And A Half Men fame tweeted this week about Mr Hughes' cause with a link to his Kickstarter page.

"Do you want to support a delicious New Zealand pie truck in New York? Of course you do!," she said.

And although Lynskey's never been in herself, Mr Hughes has had some other familiar Kiwi faces visit his Dub-Down Under Bakery-Brooklyn cafe.

The Topp Twins, former All Black captain David Kirk, a particular highlight for Mr Hughes, as well as musicians P Money, David Dallas and Street Chant have all been in.

And while she hasn't been in herself, Mr Hughes and his partner, Gemma Gracewood, dropped off some lamingtons to former Prime Minister Helen Clark who now lives in New York heading the United Nation's development programme.

"She certainly scoffed them in record time, I'm told."

Mr Hughes started the pie cafe nine years ago after managing the 9/11 disaster assistance centre which grew too emotionally draining. He returned to New Zealand for about three months and had an epiphany while eating a pie.

His shop now sells 5,000 items a week, including the lamingtons Helen Clark enjoyed so much.

Mr Hughes has promised anyone who helps him get to his $35,601 goal a reward, varying in scale according to the size of the pledge.

- NZ Herald

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