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Simple Simon fillings leave pastry behind.

The gourmet fillings from Scotland's award-winning Simple Simon's pies are now available to order online and in casserole form at delicatessens near the company's base.

There are also plans to supply the new chilled products to shops and individual supermarket branches throughout the UK, depending on the volume of orders.

But the company's managing director Bernard Alessi said he would not sacrifice quality for mass sales. Recently, the former international chef, turned down an order for 18,000 pies a week from Wetherspoon because he was not prepared to compromise on the hand-made quality that has made his pie range successful.

"They wanted lower prices, which I couldn't do for the same quality, so I turned it down," he said.

Alessi, who founded his company in June 2005, said he would only be willing to supply Simple Simon's Country Casseroles to supermarkets on a localised basis, in order to maintain high standards of quality.

"We don't want the orders all falling on the same day. We want them spread out through the week so we can plan them better. Our maximum capacity here is 300 casseroles a day," said Alessi, who employs seven staff at his premises.

The casseroles come vacuum-packed with a 10-day shelf life and have recommended retail prices of 6.95 [pounds sterling] to 8.55 [pounds sterling]. Like the company's Perfect Pies, the casseroles are made with meat from Blackmount Foods Organic Meats.

They include haddock pie filling with creamy leek sauce, Sicilian-style Calamari, minced beef with carrots, curried chicken fillets, Mexican chilli, pork with lemon, and ratatouille of Mediterranean vegetables with feta cheese.

Alessi decided on the casserole range because of the positive response to his pies, which won a silver prize in the 2005 Great Taste Awards.
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Title Annotation:brand news; supply of Simple Simon's pies
Comment:Simple Simon fillings leave pastry behind.(brand news)(supply of Simple Simon's pies)
Author:Lithgow, Tony
Publication:Grocer
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 10, 2007
Words:293
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