Inside Lawry’s Pasties: Generations of Flavors

A Taste of the UP

by Cliff Duvernois

Lawry's Pasties Marquette

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Lawry’s Pasties has been a family-run business since 1946, specializing in traditional Cornish pasties and maintaining the original recipe through four generations. Located in Marquette, Michigan, Pete and Addie Lawry share their journey of rebuilding the business after a devastating fire in the strip mall where their shop was located. They used resourcefulness and determination to start over, which included using equipment from Pete’s mother’s shop.

With winter months being slow for tourism, Pete and Addie came up with a clever way to keep their business going while reaching UP transplants from around the nation year-round.

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Discovering Lawry’s Pasties – An Upper Peninsula Michigan Staple

When you venture to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, roadside signs for pasties are everywhere. Intrigued, I journeyed to the heart of the Upper Peninsula to find a beloved pasty shop. I struck gold in Marquette with Lawry’s Pasties. Renowned both locally and by tourists, Lawry’s has mastered the art of pasty-making.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Pete and Addie Lawry. They welcomed me warmly and shared their journey. Pete started explaining the rich history. Lawry’s Pasties began in 1946, west of Ishpeming, and moved to Marquette in 1992. Addie is the fourth generation of pasty makers. Their family has kept the original recipe alive.

The Origin Story

Pete’s grandparents moved back to the Upper Peninsula after World War II. They opened a cafe next to the Blueberry Mine, where Pete’s grandmother started making pasties for miners. The pasties became so popular that the cafe evolved into Lawry’s Pasties. ## What is a Pasty? The pasty is simple yet flavorful: beef, potatoes, onions, and rutabaga, all wrapped in a crust. Pete explained it’s like a pot pie, but without the gravy. It’s more like a sandwich, served hot. They make each pasty by hand, maintaining the original Cornish recipe.

Pete’s parents took over the business in the fifties. Pete grew up in the shop and always wanted to keep the family tradition alive. Despite facing challenges like a devastating fire in the 1990s, the Lawrys persevered. Pete spoke of starting over from scratch, driven by passion and resilience.

The Secret to Lawry’s Pasties Success

What makes Lawry’s Pasties special? It’s their commitment to consistency and quality. They source ingredients locally and use the same vendors for decades. Their pasty recipe has remained unchanged, ensuring every bite is as delightful as it was in the 1940s.

Shipping Pasties To keep the business thriving year-round, especially during the quiet winter months, Lawry’s Pasties started shipping their famed pasties. They perfected the process, using styrofoam coolers and dry ice to ensure the pasties arrive fresh, no matter the distance. Passionate pasty lovers across the U.S. can now enjoy a slice of the Upper Peninsula at home.

While Lawry’s sticks to their classic beef pasty, they’ve introduced a vegetarian option and a breakfast version to cater to diverse tastes. For those curious about pasties but seeking variety, they also offer oven-baked sandwiches, including the unique UP staple – Cudighi.

The Best Way to Eat a Pasty

Traditionally, pasties are eaten by hand, like a handheld meat pie. There’s a lively debate over whether to add gravy or ketchup, but true aficionados often prefer them plain. Pete’s favorite way? Fresh out of the oven, no condiments needed. ## Visiting Lawry’s Pasties Planning a visit? You can find Lawry’s Pasties in Marquette, right on US 41. For those farther away, their website, lawryspasties.com, offers easy online ordering with shipping available nationwide.

Lawry’s Pasties is more than a shop; it’s a testament to family dedication and culinary tradition. So, whether you’re a local or a visitor, their pasties promise a genuine taste of the Upper Peninsula.