By Laura Hahnefeld
They're convenient, simple, and everything we love about pie in a size we don't have to share. They're hand pies. And a new bakery in Chandler is serving them up by the sweet and savory handful -- even for breakfast.
Called AZ Food Crafters, the weeks-old bakery, located at 961 West Ray Road (on the southeast corner of Ray Alma School Roads), is the first retail location of partners Eddie Castillo and Mike Caliendo. The local duo have been selling their signature hand pies at farmers markets throughout the Valley since starting their hand pie and catering business in 2011.
Here's what hand pie fans can expect:
With a focus on locally sourced ingredients, AZ Food Crafters fills its dozens of scratch-made hand pies with sweet fillings (for example, Burning Love is made with dark chocolate, housemade blackberry and raspberry jam, and ancho chiles) as well as savory ingredients for pocket-style meals like the Veggie Greek, Buffalo Bleu Chicken, and Italian Sausage and Peppers.
For fans of a.m. (hand) pie and coffee, AZ Food Crafters offers a $5 breakfast special that includes a choice of four breakfast hand pies accompanied by a a cup of Joe.
"The crust is buttery, flaky and very unique," says Castillo. "From spinach and cheese to green chili pork to tangerine, we have a flavor that suits every taste."
Prices are $4 for each pie. Gourmet salads, main courses, and desserts are also available.
And for those looking to customize, Caliendo adds, "We get multiple requests for people's favorite dishes all wrapped up neatly in a hand pie. We are happy to oblige whenever we can."