Meat Pies Creates Products
Featuring American Lamb
Springs, CO (October 15, 2008) – A
simple meat pie created 125 years ago by a New Zealander is now
making life easier for housewives as well as bachelors living in
the American northwest who need a fast, delicious meal during these
In 1883, Thomas Morrison started Morrison Meat Pie Company. He was
a recent immigrant to the United States from New Zealand and his
first business was selling a tasty Scottish hot meat pie on the
streets of Salt Lake City. According to one business story, the
meat pies were of high quality, spiced ground meat wrapped in pastry.
The recipe is still basically the same, but made under strict supervision
in a number of different varieties in a modernized plant with new
Today, Morrison Scottish meat pies and Aussie Pies are being marketed
in a number of outlets in Utah and has for the first time in its
history, expanded out-of-state into Oregon, Washington and an eight
state region including N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado,
Idaho, New Mexico, and Arizona. They also ship anywhere in the United
States to customers through their internet site, www.morrisonmeatpies.com.
wholesale grocery store distribution channel presently consists
of Associated Foods, Albertson’s, Smith/Kroger, Super Wal-Mart
and Super Target. In addition, Morrison products have been accepted
into Costco stores in the Salt Lake City area, Western Boxed Meats
in Portland and Whole Foods Markets in Salt Lake City.
Eugene and Susan Tafoya became the fifth-in-line owners of the firm
in April 2004. As they assumed ownership of Morrison’s, the
Tafoya’s recognized the firm’s inherent value; a long
unbroken history of operation, a loyal customer base, an existing
distribution channel and USDA Certified status for their products.
Prior to their purchasing the company, Morrison’s was a small,
family-owned enterprise. The Tafoya’s purchase marked the
beginning of a new operational plan with a focus on expanding the
company’s product line beyond the famous Scottish meat pie,
its flagship product, and introduced the beef and soy chili brick,
the Scottish lamb pie and the new Aussie-style lamb pies.
In 2006, the Tafoya’s submitted a business plan to the National
Livestock Producers Association (NLPA) Sheep & Goat Fund to
show how Morrison's could increase lamb consumption in the United
States by providing a value-added lamb product in a convenient,
less expensive medium. Later that year, NLPA approved the request
and Morrison Meat Pies received its funding. Thus far, the company
has used the funds to increase the automation of their plant and
to create a product new to the U.S. market called the “Aussie
Travelers Pies” or “Aussie Pie”, using locally
particular product has become a favorite among Morrison customers,”
Gene Tafoya said.
Co-owner Eugene Tafoya, president and managing director, has an
extensive background in sales and marketing management, having worked
for several major corporations. He is responsible for sales and
marketing, expanding the Morrison product line, forming key alliances,
growing the company’s distribution channels and new product
Susan Tafoya, vice president and operations manager, has had a long
career in research, public health, clinical laboratory sales and
management. She is in charge of raising capital, writing funding
proposals, and managing operations to conform to USDA and HACCP
requirements. She oversees vendor relations and new business development.
The third person in the firm’s leadership chain is Richard
Gunther, a professional baker and Morrison’s production manager.
He oversees the development of Aussie-style pies and other products.
In October 2007, in a joint venture with Morgan Valley Lamb Company
of Utah, Morrison’s received a grant from the USDA Rural Development
VAPG totaling $225,000 for fiscal 2007-2008. The NLPA provided an
additional line of credit for working capital, and Love Communications
and Producers Livestock Association provided in-kind matching funds
for the project to help increase consumption in the United States.
In a statement, Morrison’s noted that with this funding in
place, the firm continues to introduce the much anticipated line
of authentic Aussie Pies in a commercial launch to penetrate the
U.S. market, and with additional planning it will initiate a line
of appetizers as well as school lunch pies for the institutional
Despite these successes, Morrison’s has been faced with unprecedented
increases in the cost of raw ingredients, such as flour, margarine,
meat and milk. These items have doubled and tripled in price since
original projections were made on getting this new value-added product
to the marketplace. In addition, gasoline price increases have caused
huge increases in transportation, and plastics and packaging materials
also have skyrocketed.
Although production cost increases have strained the firm’s
cash flow and posed new challenges, Morrison’s products have
received excellent reception as the pies have been introduced to
consumers, buyers and grocery distributors.
“We are enthusiastic and excited about opening new markets
as we begin to expand our marketplace outside of Utah for the first
time in the company’s history,” Gene Tafoya said.
For more information about the NLPA Sheep & Goat Fund or an
application please contact the National Livestock Producers Association
at (800) 237-7193, ext. 10 or visit www.SheepandGoatFund.com.
The National Livestock Producers Association, founded in 1921, is
an organization of livestock marketing cooperatives and credit corporations
representing more than 150,000 livestock producers nationwide.