A new pie shop in Hanley proposed to replace UKIP’s campaign office, and return to its former business of a bakery, has been met with a wave of support.
Over 35 independent chefs have offered to volunteer their services to a new fundraising campaign, which hopes to reclaim the former Chatwins shop in Hanley as a pop-up pie shop and community space.
“Pies Not Lies” was set up by locals Sean Dissington and Ben McManus.
Mr McManus said: “We’re gobsmacked with how many people have got in touch from all walks of life.”
“People have even offered to help make the pies. I’ve never made a pie in my life!”
Since the recent political frenzy here in Stoke on Trent, plans to turn UKIP’s former campaign office into a pie shop originated from the hashtag “Pies Not Lies”.
After the hashtag went viral on Twitter, the pair were quick to develop their idea.
Mr McManus said: “Sean initially came to me on the Friday morning after the result saying someone should reclaim the old Chatwins shop and reopen it again to do with pies called “Pies Not Lies”.
“I said to him, where do I sign up, let’s get a video uploaded and a Kickstarter set up, let’s just get on with it straight away!”
The pair uploaded their campaign video to Facebook and it was an overnight success, with just over 19,000 views now and 254 shares.
Sean Dissington says the pie shop can be a breath of fresh air after a crazy by election, something which can make a real contribution to the city.
“The Chatwin shop is in a very prominent location. The idea is to get the shop in use now it has been vacated and use it as something that contributes to the economy but also a space where people can talk in a community focused way.”
“People can talk about politics or things that matter to them in a space which is essentially non-judgemental and accessible to anyone, and obviously it will be serving pies which makes things a lot better!.”