Market Report is a Savour Calgary feature telling the stories behind the local offerings at area farmers’ markets and food halls. In this issue we get to know Ma Pies and Thai Manna.
In the depths of winter, nothing is as comforting as warm pie, fresh out of the oven. Ma Pies’ individual pocket pies fit the bill, with a golden, buttery crust and hearty, homemade fillings. Corey Ma’s singular passion for pies led him from an engineering career to pastry school in New Zealand, where he refined his skills before launching Ma Pies in 2019. He offers both savoury and sweet pies, but his most popular offerings are the Chicken Mornay and Paddy’s Pulled Pork pocket pies.
Ma came up with his famous Chicken Mornay pie just in time for Pi Day 2020, right as the COVID pandemic shut down farmers’ markets across the city—but that didn’t stop pie-hungry Calgarians from discovering this delightful creation. This fan favourite is filled with peas, carrots and tender chicken breast, then covered in Mornay sauce, a bechamel sauce with added cheese, in this case, provolone.
A lunchtime visit to Paddy’s Barbecue & Brewery turned into a new pie when Ma couldn’t get enough of their pulled pork. Now, the local joint supplies the filling for the eponymous Paddy’s Pulled Pork pocket pies.
These days, Ma is focused on expanding to coffeeshops and cafés in addition to his farmers’ markets stalls, and he is collaborating with local businesses on pie fillings. He says his favourite part about running Ma Pies is “connecting with other local businesses and experimenting in the kitchen,” he says. Whether you’re looking for a homemade pie or just need a quick and convenient weeknight dinner, Ma Pies is not to be missed!
Ma Pies | Granary Road Farmer’s Market, and pickup/delivery options online | 226066 112th St. W., Foothills County | 587.327.1813 | mapies.ca
A trip to Thai Manna at Calgary Farmers’ Market West is much easier than a trip to Thailand if you’re craving authentic curries. While the stall at Calgary’s newest location of the beloved Calgary Farmers’ Market opened this past August, Thai Manna has been around since 2008. Founder Michelle Chick’s travels to Thailand inspired her to dive into Thai cuisine and she began making curries and curry kits for her friends and family, which eventually proved so popular, she started Thai Manna.
The thought of making a Thai curry from start to finish can be intimidating for home cooks, so Chick and her team do most of the work by providing curry paste, rice, coconut milk and portions of fish sauce, palm sugar, lime leaves and chilli peppers in their kits. All that’s left to do is add one’s desired meats or vegetables and follow each kit’s simple instructions. The curry pastes are made from scratch and some of the key ingredients in Chick’s popular green curry are green chilli peppers, garlic, lemongrass and galangal, a member of the ginger family frequently used in Southeast Asian cuisine.
Initially, Chick’s curry pastes were far spicier, but she found that adding fresh chilli peppers to the kits allowed customers to vary the spice level—something that made her curries popular with kids. In the winter, her Panang curry is a bestseller, with sweet notes of tamarind and rich peanut flavour. Having been a part of farmers’ markets for more than a decade, Chick says, “The best part is handing out samples and seeing people’s faces light up when they taste our curries.”
Thai Manna | Calgary Farmers’ Market West and Fresh & Local Farm Store, full list of retail locations online | 25 Greenbriar Dr. N.W. and 12445 Lake Fraser Dr. S.E. | 403.998.7049 | thaimanna.com