Oct 28-02

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2002: October: Oct 28-02
Feds urged to de-regulate pasties    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Jonathan Hopper

By Official Press Release on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 09:39 am:

Government requested to deregulate pasty production

(Calumet, MI) - Pasty Central of Calumet has issued a request to state and federal officials asking that the production of U.P style pasties be deregulated. Currently under federal law the baking of pasties for shipment or any wholesale purpose must be done under the constant scrutiny of a USDA inspector. Pasty Central operates the only USDA approved pasty facility in the Copper Country, joining just a handful of other approved pasty makers across the U.P. This has given rise to a well-known "gray market" in pasties, as many schools, restaurants and fund-raising groups have turned to un-inspected sources for bulk purchases of the meat and vegetable pies.

Pasty Central began in 1996 as a non-profit fund-raiser online for financially strapped Still Waters Community Elders Home in Calumet. According to Charlie Hopper, Administrator of the home, to date the project has shipped almost 160,000 pasties throughout North America. In 1999 Pasty.com was selected by the State of Michigan as Showcase Site of the Year for the 2000 Technology Summit. As a highly visible operation, according to Hopper, Still Waters was singled out for costly USDA compliance, while other kitchens with even larger production continue to wholesale without the required federal approval.

By Candy, CA on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 09:50 am:

Charlie, have you spoken with Bart Stupak about sponsoring a bill to this effect? I can pass this on to our congressman, Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) to give bipartisan support for the effort.

By jack, id on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 09:56 am:

just gives us an email address and im sure they will get some input

By Jean Mi. on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 10:03 am:

Candy this is a great idea, if all of the people who love this site would organize we could do a great thing, power to the pasty! I will post again as soon as I find links to the right people. Lets go folks this is a cause we can all unite over.

By Marc, offshore GoM/Tamrack City on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 11:29 am:

Power To The Pasties!!!
•••• the rutabegas, full steam ahead!

Good luck Charlie and everyone at Pasty Central:)
Nine more days to go, Honey...

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 11:43 am:

Gee, I wish we could have a video clip of the Little Gem Theater presentation here on Pasty Central for all to see!

By Marc, offshore GoM/Tamarack City on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 12:15 pm:

Speaking of good causes, has anyone heard any news on the progress of the Redridge wooden dam restoration effort??
Last I heard from the discussion board on the Copper Range Railroad site (featured yesterday) they were asking for donations...

By Mr. Pete, Texas on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 01:26 pm:

Charlie, we need a presentation we can Email to our federal representatives. It needs to be written so they will understand exactly what the problem is and what you are proposing. In other words, it should be as simple as possible.

By randy, MI on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 02:56 pm:

I may seem like the stinky fish in the town square here, but I'm for pasty checks. I don't want to bite into a pasty and find a varmit instead of a carrot!

usually I hate government control, that's why i go to all those militia things...but with food and medicine, it seems like uncle sam should be watching out for good folk.

keep up the goodwork. heymaybe that new barry fey fella could help out. i met him at a diner and he is a good egg...I've never seen a politician eat so much turkey!

By Adam, Presque Isle on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 03:11 pm:

What is the issue? Should all the other distributors be in compliance with USDA regulations. Or, are we saying that we shouldn't have to operate in compliance with USDA regulations?

I really can't say where I stand on the issue until someone can answer that question.


By Ken. Washburn, WI on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 03:22 pm:

Charlie, I believe it would be best if all pasties that are offered for sale for public consumption have the USDA label on them.

My daughter had to do this in Wisconsin and Alaska. No USDA, eat them yourself but can't sell them.

By jkilar, AA,Mich. on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 04:31 pm:

Sorry Charlie, I've had food poisoning before, NOT FUN!!! USDA compliance is not easy but it's better than being sick.

By hank, HI on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 07:05 pm:

IP address reported for Acceptable Use violation

By MW MI on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 07:20 pm:

From what I can remember from when I worked in a UDSA inspected plant... If a pasty contained 25% or more meat it had to meet UDSA specs & was subject to compliance & inspection. Charlie,how about 24% meat & tell the feds where they can get off!!! Then all you have to deal with is the Health Dept.

By Yoosta on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 07:24 pm:

Okay.....if we are to allow pasties to be made without USDA approval....What about Thimbleberry Jam ???? And all the other goodies ???
I remember about twenty years ago, the feds came in and stopped all grandmas from making jam in their kitchens, that was sold to the public in several area shops....unless their kitchen was USDA approved (Stainless, inspections, etc.) Some people went through great expense to comply with this requirement.
And, I think that was a good thing.... I agree with Randy, Ken and jkiler.....All kitchens that produce food for sale to the public should be inspected, approved, etc....

By Charlie at Pasty Central on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 07:26 pm:

Adam and others,

One main issue is that of inconsistent enforcement by the USDA. High visibility operations like Pasty Central are pressed into compliance, while others quietly continue wholesaling to restaurants and schools at lower cost because they are not forced to comply. If all pasty makers were accountable to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, there would still be high quality standards, with less stringent requirements than the USDA. For example, did you know that every time Pasty Central bakes pasties, we are required to have a USDA inspector present? Diet supplements and vitamins are far less regulated than pasties!

Here's an example to illustrate: Jonathan and I stopped in at Syl's Restaurant in Mass City and had one of their delicious pasties. There on the menu, it mentioned that they ship pasties upon request. According to USDA regulations, it is illegal for them to do so. But that is a common practice of many bakeries across the U.P.

All pasties made for resale or delivery by third parties are currently required to be USDA inspected. Supermarkets, which fall under MDA not USDA, frequently produce pasties to sell to schools. This is also a violation of federal standards, and puts school administrators in a position of liability, of which they are probably not even aware.

The whole issue of FEDERAL inspection of pasties is out of sync with what is really happening here in the U.P. Yes, pasty producers should be accountable, but why not at the STATE level?

MW - Clever idea about using less than 25% meat... but yes, we approached the USDA with that idea back in 1998, and no, it didn't work.

By Yoosta on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 07:32 pm:

Isn't the press release a little mis-leading ?? To quote the release."Pasty Central operates the only USDA approved pasty facility in the Copper Country, " I know of several other fine establishments that produce pasties in the copper country and are health department inspected, approved (Local restaurants) or, am I not understanding the big picture like others that have posted before me ?

By Charlie at Pasty Central on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 07:33 pm:


Thimbleberry or other jams are NOT required to be under USDA inspection. That is a good example of Michigan Department of Agriculture jurisdiction. And yes, I agree that they should be inspected and approved, such as is the case with the Jam Lady and the Jampot, two Pasty Central sponsors.

...which expresses my point precisely. Why not put pasties in that category of MDA scrutiny? ...just like Thimbleberry jam?

By Yoosta on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 07:36 pm:

To quote a famous advertisement, I say "Sorry Charlie"....You must've been typing the answer to my question while I was still asking it !!!
Thanks eh !!!

By Darrell oinas/Dewitt MI. on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 07:42 pm:

Dear Charlie,
I need more information on what you are proposing, I buy pasty's down here that are shipped to the local super market and I have never seen a usda seal of approval on them, I am not impressed about the way they display them, they are not in the frozen food isle but at the deli where they sit and thaw for days at a time, they come from gaylord mi and the last time I ate a few I did not feel that well for a coupple of days. Not to say that is what the deal is I just need more info.

By Charlie at Pasty Central on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 07:52 pm:


The pasties to which you refer are probably Albie's of Gaylord. Yes, they are USDA inspected. I've been to their plant and tried one of theirs. Except for the fact that they are machine stamped, and not handmade, it was a pretty good pasty.

If you look closely on the label next time I'm sure you will see the USDA seal.


Just to clarify, Pasty Central is in fact the only USDA inspected pasty producer in the Copper Country. There are only 2 other USDA inspected producers of any type in the area, namely Vollwerth's and Baroni's, two other fine sponsors here at Pasty Central.

By Kate, CA on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 09:28 pm:

MMMM, pasties and pineapple....if you catch my
drift. If only we were as passionate about our
U.P. land sale as we are our delicious pasties. Or
am I missing something?

By Pasty Geek, St. Clair Shores, MI on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 09:54 pm:

Some people go bar hopping, but I visited Copper Country a few weeks ago and went Pasty hopping. I had previously dismissed pasties as little more than a bland has-been U.P. novelty until I tried Lehto's on U.S. #2 in Brevort. Lehto's pasties are great, but in a Fettucini Alfredo sort of way because they are rich. Then I ordered them from Pasty Central and found they are outstanding and a lot less rich with veggies bursting w/flavor. We also tried both the Lawrey's in Marquette and in Ishpeming and found the Marquette one had a great filling but a slightly too brown crust. The Ishpeming Lawrey's had a great crust, but a slightly less flavorful filling. Last, we tried Grandma T's as pictured above in Neguanee (I think?)and found the texture of the crust and filling to be ideal, but needing more flavor. If anyone has other favorite pasty places, please post them. I had found out about Lawrey's through this message board. Surely there are other gems out there I don't know about.

By Marie:OK on Monday, October 28, 2002 - 11:54 pm:

To Kate of CA; no, you can't get anyone upset about this land sale until it's too late and then it will give the beer drinker's a reason(as IF) to moan about it. A raging discussion of a moot point such as regulation of foods for sale is much more distracting and easy to talk about. Truth is that it is too horrible to even consider--outsiders coming in and telling us what to do. Too bad and too late --it's already happening. Huron Bay Tavern's yearly pig roast should include huge wild boar brought in by local landowners that are being kept inside their camps by dangerous animals no one wants to be responsible for. It's a crazier world. PS Todays pic made me drool like a fool for Pasty, USDA or NOT!

By Paul in Illinois on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 12:23 am:

Pasties come in as many flavors as the places Cousin Jacks showed up to mine. When I first mentioned pasties to my wife she said she really liked them with all the chicken, pineapple, etc. in them! She had been introduced to the pasty concept by a fellow graduate student from a mining area of the Phillipines. Much later we sampled the so-called original at an English restaurant in London, Ont. That was a major disappointment, the Copper Country version is much better than the original. Whatever the flavor of the pasty, everyone in the business should have to play by the same rules. The USDA regs. present the safest option, the move should be for all to be inspected and regulated if they want to ship them.

By Ken from da UP on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 12:41 am:

MM mm good! MM mm good! Charlie's pasties sure look MM mm good! (Sorry, Campbell's.) :o) Stand clear when they start passing the political pasties around.

By On the road in Penn on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 12:49 am:

Pasty geek,
When in town, I only get pasties fresh from Tony's restaurant in Laurium (very best!). When out of town I only order them from Pasty.com, even though there is a pasty shop just 6-7 miles away. It's worth the shipping!
I had the same experience as Paul with the "original" cornish pasties. I was so excited at an unexpected opportunity to introduce an uninitiated friend to pasties at a renaissance faire. They were so bad I doubt he'll ever try them again.

By Ed B Ohio on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 02:03 am:

For Jack and the others interested here are the House Web sites of the members.


Also the Senate members Web sites


If these don't show as clikable - "swipe" with left
click , use ctl c and paste in your address box.
Hope this helps.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 04:37 am:

On the road in Penn:
"Tony's in Laurium"???

Surely you mean "Toni's Country Kitchen", right next to the Post Office in Laurium.

The ONLY alternative to Pasty Central!

By Kat in Paavola on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 06:36 am:

To Pasty Geek- Try Sheldon's Bakery at the Sharon Centre in Houghton. They have GREAT pasties in two sizes - small and large. They also have a wonderful vegetable pasty and now a breakfast pasty (potatoes, eggs, sausage, onion - Yum!) They start cooking them at 8 in the morning and are usually sold out by closing time.

By MW MI on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 06:53 am:

The MDA got out of the inspection business for meat & meat products that is why we are dealing with the feds(USDA). If it is meat or has meat it is subject to USDA inspection. Thimbleberry jam etc. are not meat related therefore the USDA is not involved. Charlie, the only way to get away from the USDA is a meatless pasty.(UNTHINKABLE & TASTELESS)
Also remember we are talking wholesale not retail!!

By Uncle Bud/mohawk on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 07:02 am:

I think having some control over the commercial making of the food we eat is a good thing. There have been many incidents where bad products have been recalled and saved folks from getting sick or worse.
Also, if individual folks have the money to buy land that's good, the way to control development is with local ordinances, not buying land with tax dollars.

By Joyce,Florida on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 07:15 am:

How about Juusto? My source dried up years ago because of the need for inspections.
Anyway,try The Katalina in South Range. Their pasties are good and huge.
Ihave ordered pasties from pasty.com several times and love them.

By P on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 09:49 am:

Some of the best pasties I have had in recent years have come from the Mohawk Superette, located in beautiful ddowntown Mohawk. Although they aren't made everyday of the week. Call ahead, and find out what day they're available, i gaurantee, you will not be dissapointed !!

Also, anyone remember The Drift Inn in Copper City ???
I thought they were a good pasty too !!!

By RM- Eastern U.P. on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 11:00 am:

To all those who favor USDA regulation of Pasty Central, just rememember that every ounce of E-Coli infected beef recalled from the factory in the U.S. over the past few years has allegedly been inspected by the USDA. Any local health department or the MDA is well equipped to inspect any food preparation facility, and do so on a regular basis. These people are extremely thorough, as anyone who has gone through one of their inspections will tell you. No government agency can guarantee the complete safety of the food supply. Charlie's right, this should be handled at the local level, it's safer, and levels the playing field.

By Marti, Grand Rapids, MI on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 04:39 pm:

One of our favorite pasty places in Marquette is Jean-Kay's Pasties on Presque Isle Avenue.

By David S.- FL on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 05:46 pm:

I have to agree with "P". The Mohawk Superette has a killer pasty, my favorite, but you have to order ahead to get it. The Drift Inn in Copper City also makes a fine crusted delight. "P" must know the UP pretty good, eh.

By Pasty Geek, St. Clair Shores, MI on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 07:38 pm:

Thanks to all for the tips on where to find good pasties. People who read this website ought to know.

By TK, AA, MI on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 09:44 pm:

I have to agree with the government (USDA) overseeing this one. Too many food recalls in the news nowadays.
As for pasties, whenever we make the trip back to Hoton, a stop at Toni's in Laurium is a must on the way to Brockway.

By Marie:OK on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 09:59 pm:

Randall's Bakery in Wakefield gets my vote......

By Mark Pasich, Kaleva & Calumet Michigan on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 - 11:42 pm:

For all you Yoopers in the greater Detroit area, there used to be a pasty shop in livonia. It was called Weldon's Pasties. The man was Weldon Henderickson from Ahmeek. My mother was his neighbor when she lived in Ahmeek, before she moved to Raymbaultown. They are very good for the Detroit area, especially since they are made by a Yooper. Anyway, the store was near 7 Mile and Merriman I think. Is it still there?

By On the road in D.C. on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 12:15 am:

So sorry about the spelling error, FRNash. Being on the road, I do not have the Toni's sign for reference. I never notice it anyway, as we have always referred to the place by the owner's name. Thanks for the correction. Wouldn't want to send anyone to the wrong place!

By Betty, Sun City, AZ on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 04:25 am:

Mark, The Weldons in Livonia is no longer there. We were in MI this summer and checked it out. But there is one in Sterling Heights. I believe it is on Dequindre. Everyone talking about these pasty's sure makes me hungry for one. Wish someone would come to AZ and open up a bakery and make them.

By Lilly, Chassell on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 07:35 am:

Want to add a variety to your pasty pallette? Try a green pepper pasty from Fraki's in Calumet. Very small, but very rich and very delicious. My all-time favorite pasty is my very own homemade using ground venison and extra onion.

By Charlie at Pasty Central on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 08:17 am:


Fraki's store is no longer Fraki's, but instead is now called Louie's Super 2 Foods. Not sure if they still have the green pepper pasty, but it used to be one of my wife's favorites, before we discovered Still Waters Pasty Central pasties.

Here are good examples of the original news item above: neither Louie's (Fraki's) nor Toni's are USDA inspected. No one else, for that matter, in the entire Copper Country, except Pasty Central. This means they can not legally ship pasties by a third party OR sell them for re-sale, such as schools or fundraisers. There are numerous bakeries and restaurants in the region who openly advertise that they DO ship them, and they sell them to schools or fundraisers. When we inquire with the FDA as to why Still Waters was forced into USDA compliance, and the others are not, they put the burden of responsibility on us - to gather the information which their limited staff of field inspectors could use to issue citations to stop the "illegal" activity (shipping and wholesaling pasties). I'm suggesting: let's don't arrest the "offenders", but instead legalize what they are doing by assigning the inspection responsibility to those agencies who now inspect them. (local health department, MDA, state health dept).

Again I repeat: quality control and assurance is absolutely a must for the public, and pasty production should be under systematic inspection. Perhaps this would more realistically be done at the state, not federal, level.

By Peg, MN on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 01:09 pm:

While on a winter vacation a few years ago, we went looking for the best pasty. I agree with Toni's and Mohawk's. We also ate great pasty from a bakery in Ahmeek. I don't remember the name, but maybe it was in a blue building. Well, she had just sold the last two to the man standing next to me. I said I was sorry to miss out, that we were visiting the area. Well, the man said, "buy mine". He said he thought they were the best pasties and didn't want us to miss out! i took him up on his offer, they were very good. Anyone know what bakery I am talking about?

By P on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 07:42 pm:

Last one I remember in Ahmeek was Connies....now closed, I believe...Sorry !!!

By On the road in Ol' Virginie on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 03:55 am:

I don't believe Toni's ships out their pasties. That should leave them outside of this issue. I either eat them in the restaurant or get 'take-out' to bring home to the family, along with some saffron cookies if I'm lucky enough to get them.

By Charlie at Pasty Central on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 05:53 am:

Ol' Virginie,

Toni's used to ship their pasties all over the country - before the USDA paid us both a visit back in '98. When we originally started shipping from Pasty Central back in 1996, I asked Eric his advice about packaging, choice of shipper, etc., because we knew Toni's had done it for years. Keep in mind: neither Eric nor I were aware that shipping via a third party constituted wholesaling, and thus required USDA inspection under current law. When the compliance officer told us both to cease or obtain USDA approval, Toni's Country Kitchen ceased shipping, and Pasty Central invested the $60,000+ to come into USDA compliance. Some 150,000 pasties later, we are still shipping and Toni's is not.

HOWEVER... there are numerous operations across the U.P. which publicly advertise that they ship pasties... and they are NOT USDA inspected. Why was Toni's forced to cease, and we have to fulfill expensive compliance requirements, while these other operations continue, totally ignoring Federal regulations?

I tried to ask this question to the compliance officer who visited us in '98... He had been re-assigned to some other region. The Detroit regional office turned the issue around and said we would have to provide evidence that non-USDA inspected enterprises were in fact shipping pasties. What's wrong with this picture? We are forced into compliance, then we are directed to do the job of the compliance officer! The job is arguably inappropriate to be handled at the federal level.

You could easily make a list of on-line operations which ship pasties, and are not USDA inspected - which is undeniably a violation of present federal law. We have called some to ask if they are inspected, and received various answers: "Since we use less than 25% meat it is not required"... "Since we carry our packages to the Fedex office (rather than pick up at our premises) it makes us exempt"... "The local health department says it's ok but don't quote me on that"... etc, etc.

My suggestion: re-classify pasties to come under local inspection. This would allow current non-compliant "gray market" pasty vendors to become legitimate, and singled-out businesses like Toni's, who have had to cease shipping, could resume. As someone said above: it would level the playing field.

By RD, Iowa on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 08:57 am:

Charlie - here are some links to a few U.P. sites which sell pasties online, but have no indication they are USDA inspected like Pasty Central is:







Are you saying that these are "gray market", technically illegal vendors?? Has anyone told their liability insurers???

By Connie Pizzitola - Aurora, CO on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 04:10 pm:

In Denver, we have no choice but to make our own pasties. So I had to make a few shortcuts, I use the pillsbury pie crusts (that are folded into quarters in the pkg). this keeps the kitchen clean and I can do them in an evening after a day of work. Actually, half of one of those pie crust pieces works nicely. Last time I road tripped up to Houghton, my sister and I stopped at Pat's IGA right by the Bishop Baraga Shrine and they sold us frozen uncooked pasties. We stuffed a cooler with them and they made it back here ok!! It's pretty obvious that once you leave da UP, getting pasties is an endeavor worth any amount of effort. We must have our pasties!!! Charlie, I agree with what you are doing, but I think it would be better if the other pasty distributors obeyed the law like you are. It will be hard to convince people that deregulation will help, but perhaps the competition should realize that you cannot pick and choose the laws you wish to obey in any location. Even for the sake of a beautiful tradition like pasties. Maybe if we had no choice but to go to the UP for them, we'd all find a way to get up there! Flights going into CMX have come down a lot. Visit www.nwa.com and check it out for yourself!

By still in Ol' Virginie on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 04:37 pm:

Thank you, Charlie, for the history and clarification. Though unintended, some previous posts appeared to imply that Toni's was included with the non-compliants relevant to your complaint. Not being in a position to tell "Errrki's" (emphasize the 'r' roll) business to the world, I kept my comment short.
By the by, I've had a Muldoon's pasty when in Munising about a year back. It was good enough to satisfy my yearning for one, but nowhere near as good as either Pasty.com's or Toni's.

My own 2 cents to answer your question, "What's wrong with this picture?" is, "Plenty!" Not only your point about the imposition on the 'compliants' having to, in addition to the effort and expense of complying, do the inspector's job by policing non-compliants, but the highly destructive atmosphere created when people are pushed to police and report each-other. Things tend to get nasty very quickly. Someone always gets hurt. That hardly fits into life in the Copper Country or the mostly "Mom-&-Pop" type business world of pasties.
Of course, we need some regulation. After all, it is supposed to (wish I had italics) level the field as well as protect the public. But, the difference is in the details. I hope you are successful in getting a much more reasonable solution to what now exists.
The only quasi-educated opinion that I have to offer, however, is where to find a good pasty: fresh from Toni's or shipped from Past.com. I'll save my 'other' opinions for the bar stool. Thank's for the space, Charlie! Nice pic, too. I need to order some of those beauties again as soon as I'm in one place long enough.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Friday, November 1, 2002 - 01:47 pm:

I wonder exactly how many USDA inspectors there are in the Copper Country ... in the entire UP for that matter.

By Patricia on Friday, November 1, 2002 - 04:50 pm:

To: Pasty Geek - St. Clair Shores -- have you tried Barb's Copper Country Pasties? They are in Royal Oak on Main St. just south of 14 Mile. Barb's aunt was Tony of Tony's in Laurium and she uses her recipe. They're pretty good and I think worth a trip there.

By Dave in Littleton... on Friday, November 1, 2002 - 04:53 pm:

Hi Connie!
So you are visiting here too!
hmmm, If you have a good pasty recipe maybe you should start a local shop here in Colorado... you could call it "Rocky Mtn Pasty's" or "Displaced Pasty's" or "Pasty's West"... :)
take care...

By Detroit Troll on Friday, November 1, 2002 - 08:34 pm:

For those in the Detroit area, Weldon's is in a strip mall located at 15 Mile Road and Dequinder. I work near by and get them for lunch a couple of times a week.

By Connie Pizzitola - Colorado on Saturday, November 2, 2002 - 01:07 am:

Pasties in Colorado? The thought has crossed my mind a million times! There is actually a list of yoopers that live in Colorado that has been created and maintained by yoopers in Colorado. Apparently there is a bunch of us out here! Plus, I have forced some people to try my pasties (people who had never heard of them before) and they liked them. At least they said they did. I'm sure Charlie and his fellow pasty makers would agree that it is a lot of hard work! I, too, would have to deal with the USDA! My real job is sounding easier and easier the more I think about it!

By Charlie at Pasty Central on Saturday, November 2, 2002 - 05:55 am:

No, Connie, you would NOT have to deal with the USDA to just operate a local pasty shop. Where the feds come into the picture is in the event of WHOLESALING pasties. You only have to be USDA inspected if you do one of the following:

- ship by way of a third party (FedEx, UPS, Airborne, US Mail, etc.)

- sell to fundraisers (groups which in turn resell your pasties)

- sell to supermarkets, restaurants, or any other re-seller

So if you just opened a pasty shop in Colorado, and sold only to the end consumer, your approvals would be handled through the local health department (a much less expensive proposition).

Conversely, if you know of any non-USDA inspected pasty bakers engaged in any of the activities listed above, they are violating the current federal regulations.

By Mike, GOM/Laurium on Sunday, November 3, 2002 - 06:16 am:

Let's not forget Suomi Bakery down under the parking deck in Houghton. I've hand carried lots of them to Minneapolis for my sister, but living in Laurium, I must admit to favoring Toni's.

By Joyce Florida on Sunday, November 3, 2002 - 12:26 pm:

yes, Mike I agree about the Suomi. We make it a point to go there every year when we are in the U.P. They also have very good pannukakku with raspberry sauce. Thanks for info on Detroit area pasties am sending that to my daughter in Jackson.

By Mark from Kaleva and Calumet on Monday, November 4, 2002 - 11:36 pm:

I forgot one good place to get pasties. It is the Lion's club in Kaleva, Michigan. The retirees make them on Thursday mornings. It is a Finnish toen with many connections to the U.P. They have no trouble getting a pasty right!!

By Connie Pizzitola - Aurora, CO on Tuesday, November 5, 2002 - 12:21 pm:

They have a nice photo of the Houghton Fire Dept in the Soumi Bakery. My dad is in the middle of the front row. Most of the people in that photo were our friends. I have gone there for pasties, too. They serve them up quite nicely there. The Kaleva is a nice place to go, if you can get a seat.

By Alan Williams,Cornwall on Wednesday, November 6, 2002 - 12:55 am:

Hi there,My name's Alan,I'm from Cornwall,near England,and I love your site.I find it hard to believe that your govt.is so sad that it has to regulate your premises constantly during your production process.I'm a baker myself in Helston,and we are regulated to a degree to make sure that we produce our goods in an hygenic environment,by an environmental health inspector,once a year.It seems to me and every other caterer that this is enough,as hygiene is of maximum importance,not just for the public's sake,but also for the health and safety of the staff,surely a little common sense should prevail here?But then it also seems that all government are just a little foolish with their policies and their attitudes,just look at the British lot!!
Jolly good luck with the campaign,I'll keep reading to see what the outcome of it all is.

By Robin, California on Thursday, November 7, 2002 - 01:26 pm:

As a native Yooper (Negaunee) living in Berkeley, California (near San Francisco), I can tell you that finding a good pasty in this part of the world is an exercise in futility. If I want one, chances are I have to make it myself.

I did have a pasty at the Portland, Oregon, Saturday Market recently. Made by a real Brit, it was okay, and did resolve my pasty "jones" for a moment or two. But it wasn't anything to write about (even though I'm writing about it here!).

When I was a kid, the places we got pasties (near Ishpeming) were Madeline's, Helen's and Papa Paul's. I have no idea if any of them are still around (it's been many years since I've been to the UP).

Helen's used to serve wonderful pie, your choice of banana creme, blueberry cream, etc. Basically, the pie was vanilla pudding in a pie crust; when you ordered banana creme, Helen would slice bananas on top and heap on whipped cream. When you ordered blueberry, you got blueberries on top with heaps of whipped cream, etc. Very efficient system, I think.

Anyway, best wishes to all "pasty heads" from the West Coast.

By native yooper, Texas on Sunday, November 10, 2002 - 10:08 pm:

Hey y'all: We were in Livonia in October (mid) and Weldon's is definitely still at 7 Mile and Merriman. We look forward to our "pasty fix" every time we go to Michigan. And, when we go to the U.P. (my favorite place in the world), we always have pasty some place or other - along with all the other goodies we grew up on.

By Toivo from Toivola on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 11:03 pm:

Did you notice this ad in the Mining Gazette tonight? Isn't this an outright violation of the USDA rules discussed here??

Black Market?
Charlie, if I understand the rules which you say Pasty Central had to conform to, Shelden's Pasties are in violation of wholesaleing without being USDA inspected. And isn't the Shipping Shop assisting in the violation? And isn't the Gazette further expediting the violation by advertising it??
Kathi, Detroit factory rat on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 10:57 am:

I guess the ad copywriter and the ad editor don't have a grammar checker. Didn't *any* of them notice the very BLATANT grammar error in that ad? Right there in the first line! If I'd been in the area, I definitely WOULD NOT have shopped there - they probably wouldn't know the difference between a turnip and a rutabega, seeing as how they didn't know the difference between "too" and "to". I won't even get into the dangling participle issue. Sheesh. Toivo, please stay vigilant on the pasty shipping issue - we are all concerned and interested!

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 11:47 am:

Kathi, Detroit factory rat: Speaking of "grammar checkers" (and perhaps spelling checkers)... what's a "rutabega"? (Sorry, I couldn't resist. :-)

By lja, illinois on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 05:37 pm:

I've heard it said a picture's worth a thousand words. I guess this proves it, and then some!

By Toivo from Toivola on Thursday, December 26, 2002 - 08:31 pm:

This evening's Mining Gazette had a front page story about this issue, in an excellent article by Ryan Olson.

By Matt Hendrickson, Michigan on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 04:27 pm:

For those of you who are looking for Weldon's Pasties in Detroit area, I am happy to say that they are still in business. I am the son of the owner; Weldon Hendrickson. There are 3 locations, one in Livonia, Keego Harbor and Sterling Heights. The numbers are below.

Livonia - (734)471-1680
Sterling Heights - (586) 264-8370
Keego Harbor - (248) 683-2670

Weldon Hendrickson is still the owner, and for those of you who know him and would like to stop in and say HI, he personally works out of the Keego Harbor shop.

By SDC, Ferndale, MI on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 12:30 pm:

Matt Hendrickson:
My parents lived in Royal Oak and they both said Weldon's pasties were "the" best....my dad said they tasted as good as the ones my mom use to make. He use to go to the Sterling Heights store. Glad to know its still there. I will have to stop by and pick some up when the Hunter leaves for hunting.

By Phyllis Smith on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 04:26 pm:

I vote for the Pasty Corner in Iron River, Michigan. Delicious. I used to make my own when my pasty lover son was at home. He would peel and cube the potatoes. Still, it took two hours to put together 13 pasties.

Fossie's in Cadillac (right on M-115) also makes good pasties. When in the Detroit area, we go to Barb's in Clawson.

I lived in Iron River for ten years decades ago. While in High School we'd walk every Thursday to Roberg's Bakery in Stambaugh and have pasties and long johns for lunch. Delicious. No good pasties available here in Frankfort, MI where I now live.

By Don Watson, Michigan on Thursday, March 17, 2005 - 08:04 am:

Hands Down Albies Pasties of Gaylord are the Best! We purchase them at Meijer and other large supermarkets in our area.

By Vicky, Maryland on Sunday, June 19, 2005 - 11:04 am:

I agree with Phyllis above - The Pasty Corner in Iron River makes the BEST pasties if you have to buy them someplace else and not make them at home. Dobbers are pretty good, but I haven't been to Escanaba in ages. I think they have a shop in Iron Mountain if I'm not mistaken?

By L.Rudzki on Thursday, June 23, 2005 - 04:55 pm:

There is another source for Pasties in the Livonia area. Try Superior Pasties on Plymouth Road between Merriman and Farmington Roads. Their phone number is 734-425-9300. Their address is 31840 PLYMOUTH ROAD, Livonia, MI 48150. They are really good. The recipe comes from a yooper as well so they are authentic.

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