Updated: Feb 17
Owners of the popular Fresno/Clovis food truck will travel to Cornwall, England to compete in the World Pasty Championships in March.
Clovis, California – A Fresno/Clovis food truck known for its hand-held meat pies and sausage rolls will represent California in an international pasty competition for the first time.
Union Jacks Pasty Shack will compete in the World Pasty Championships on March 5th.
Contestants will gather at the Eden Project, a popular tourist destination in Cornwall, England, and bring forth their best pasties for judgment amongst the very best the UK and the rest of the World have to offer. Jeremy Dyer, one of the Co-Founders of the food truck hopes their Californian take on the centuries-old pasty is enough to take home a title.
“Our food truck has earned a loyal customer following in the Fresno/Clovis area, with more than a few of our British residents telling us how our pasties remind them of home. So, what better way to test our skills than to take our humble pasties back to their homeland to battle it out against the best of the best in the world.”
The popular food truck will be serving four customer favorites to the British judges - Steak & Blue, Tandoori Chicken, Turkey Pot Pie & their beloved Spicy S.O.B. The pasties are entered into the “open” category of the competition, a division for members of bakeries, pubs, or shops outside of Cornwall.
Following a late-night food truck conversation over some BBQ and beer in 2019, Dyer and his business partner, Ben Cunliffe, uttered those dangerous words, “We should start a food truck”. That late-night conversation turned into months of research, podcasts, e-books, meetings with other food truck owners, and eventually a decision had to be finalized, “what food did we want to sell?”.
Having grown up in the UK, Ben still had cravings for British food, particularly sausage rolls and Cornish pasties, so the decision made itself and Union Jacks Pasty Shack was born.
“Our mission from day one was to ensure our pasties were as good, or, if possible, better than the best pasties in Cornwall.” said Cunliffe. “However, during taste tests in those early days we realized Californian taste buds were different to British ones, so we painstakingly adapted the traditional recipes to satisfy those differences and resumed the taste tests. They were an instant hit amongst all who tried them.”
The company's founders are better known locally as the owners of Big Bear Apparel Inc, an international eCommerce printing & fulfillment company based in Clovis, California, and Chichester, England. With that came their first problem, how would they manage this new food truck and their current business?
“We quickly realized we couldn’t,” said Dyer. “So, we turned to two adventurous friends of ours for help. Craig and Mona Lopez were already running their own successful local business yet had time available to take on an extra challenge, so the dynamic duo quickly became a fantastic foursome, and Union Jacks Pasty Shack was born.”
In early 2021, with help from the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, the team invited the local community to an opening day to learn about the pasties and try them for themselves. With local dignitaries in attendance such as the Mayor of Fresno, Jerry Dyer, the event was a huge success gaining coverage county-wide on local TV news channels and press. The next day, Union Jacks Pasty Shack was launched and on the road.
The team heads to the UK on March 3rd with high hopes, however, the trip will also give them a chance to taste test their next big idea, bringing “proper” British Fish & Chips to Fresno/Clovis.
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