Foxton is officially the home of one of the best pies in New Zealand.

Sam's Bakery and Café - on the corner of SH1 and Norbiton Rd - last week came second in the bacon and egg category of this year's Bakels New Zealand Pie Awards.

The award was no flash in the pan either, with Sam's Bakery coming ninth last year for its potato-top and sixth in 2015, when based in Feilding, for its mince and cheese.

Sam's Bakery owner Samphois Sou said it took nearly two weeks of practice and preparation to get ready for the competition. They also entered mince and cheese, steak and cheese, and chicken pies.


Mr Sou said competition rules were very strict. Pies had to be perfectly cooked with puffy top pastry, base pastry not too thick or thin, and tasty ingredients.

Mr Sou has lived in New Zealand since 2001.

Having trained as a professional chef in Cambodia, his home country, he then worked in hotels and ran bakeries in Auckland.

He shifted south to escape the pressures of large city living - first to Feilding and then early last year to Foxton when he purchased his bakery.

Mr Sou's success mirrors that of other Cambodian Kiwi bakers who have made the pie competition their own in recent years.

This year's Supreme winner was Taupo-based Lee Ing for a gourmet meat pie. Last year's Supreme winner, Tauranga-based Patrick Lam, this year received awards in five pie categories. Word got around Foxton quickly after Sam's Bakery's competition success.

When the Horowhenua Chronicle visited mid-morning, two trays of pies had already sold out and a small queue of customers wanting bacon and egg pies was asked to come back once the new batch had cooked.

Mr Sou said they generally sold 200-300 pies a day and their success was likely to increase that number.

Mr Sou saved this reporter the last bacon and egg pie of the morning, and after scoffing it down at a comfortable and sunny window seat in the café, we can - totally impartially, of course - report it is well worth a visit to Sam's Bakery and Café.