In 2019 Geoff Horne's quest to find a burger joint in Whanganui that used beetroot went viral. Now he's turning his eyes to the pies.
Geoff's looking for the best pies in Whanganui but won't be choosing a winner.
"I feel that that is a little unfair of me to do because there are so many good products and it's personal taste," Horne said.
"I love a solid steak pie and not everybody does so if I turn around and say this pie from this place is the best it's because I liked it, it suited my taste, but it's not going to be everybody's taste though."
Geoff is a musician, IT whizz and a recent import to Whanganui, and he's making his way around every pie shop in town to test their wares.
"There's quite a strong community presence and we've got this art culture here which I think is absolutely fabulous. Being part of the music scene, I certainly see that as a real positive thing.
"But I'm also thinking, wouldn't it be good if Whanganui was also known for its meat pies."
The former "too many pies guy" is well aware of the need to pace himself.
"I have to be brutally honest and say that they're not what is called the healthiest meal. But as a treat every now and then... and if you're sensible about it and don't eat one every two days like I used to," he said.
It's no secret that locals are passionate about their pie shops so when Geoff posted on a community Facebook page looking for bakeries, it sparked a lot of conversation and a spike in pie sales, says Chaise Leslie from Chaising Pies.
"We went pretty nuts after that, I went crazy. We sold out, I think it was bloody near every day for the next two weeks, I couldn't keep up!" he said.
"I was selling them as they were coming out of the oven, I couldn't keep up with it all."
It's possible the effect is lasting. Butchart's Bakery completely sold out on the weekend and said they're selling more pies than ever at the moment.
But Geoff has some sage advice for anyone thinking of getting into the business.
"I understand the commercial realities," he said. "You've got to keep your costs down and your volume of sales high to make a living at it, so I understand the rationale behind perhaps reducing the amount of costly meat that you're putting in your pies
"But sometimes I wonder whether you do yourself 'in the eye' if you can just cut too much, because you end up producing a product that might not be as good as somewhere else and over time, people are going to figure that out."
If you've got a hot pie tip for Geoff, feel free to hit him up when his band The Transistors play Barracks on June 19.
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