Betty Handy learned to bake at an early age. Born at home in 1926 in North Vancouver she was expected to bake the bread when she was 12 years old because her mother was not well. A couple of years later, she started to make pies and that talent has made her popular throughout her life. At one time she would make up to eight pies a week to feed her husband’s friends when they came to visit.
About 15 years ago, Betty decided to make meat pies and sell them as a fundraiser for the Legion. At first she sold them at Clearwater Farmers Market.
When the market rules changed and she was not allowed to sell at the Farmers Market she found other places to sell her pies. People would line up around her truck outside Bailey’s Bistro. Her fruit pies were popular at craft fairs.
At one time Betty made her pies in the golf course kitchen. Later, with the assistance of Drake Smith and the donation of a kitchen from the Wells Gray Inn, Betty expanded her business.
She was able to make up to five dozen meat pies a week and found it hard some weeks to keep up to the demand. Her pies were packaged in an attractive box and Dee’s Store in Birch Island, Safety Mart and later Buy-Low stocked them.
Betty always purchased her ingredients locally. Until recently Betty delivered pies to Drayton Valley where her great-grands helped her develop a market. She also regularly drove orders to Richmond and Ladner where her pies were a popular item for fishermen on fishing boats.
As Betty approached 90 last fall and as she was experiencing some health issues, she decided to retire from her meat pie business. At the same time she decided to give up her driver’s licence and sell her truck.
She looks forward to continuing her travels to visit her five great great grandchildren in Alberta. She hopes to plan other trips as well. Betty recently competed in a darts tournament at the Legion and enjoys playing crib on a regular basis.
Her beautiful smokey grey cat whom she calls Baby is her loving companion.